Assessment of the inhalation risks associated with working in printing rooms: a study on the staff of eight printing rooms in Beijing, China
The concentration of pollution directly determines the occupational health risk, and the exposure time is an important influencing factor. We evaluated the inhalation risks of working in a printing room. Eight units with centralized printing rooms were randomly selected. Formaldehyde, ozone, benzene, toluene, xylene, and fine particulate matter were detected by spectrophotometry, gas chromatography, and direct reading instruments, respectively. The U.S. EPA inhalation risk assessment model was used to assess cancer and non-cancer risks. The formaldehyde inhalation cancer risk value was 1.35–3.45 × 10−6, which is greater than the limit of 1 × 10−6, suggesting a risk of squamous cell carcinoma. The benzene inhalation cancer risk in five of the rooms was 1.09–4.65 × 10−6, which is greater than the limit of 1 × 10−6, suggesting a risk of leukemia. In terms of non-cancer risk, in five of the rooms, the hazard quotient (HQ) was > 1 (range 1.99–4.69) due to benzene pollution, suggesting a risk of reduced lymphocyte count. In one room, due to benzene and xylene pollution, the HQ was > 1, suggesting a risk of lymphocyte count drop and motor coordination impairment. Collectively, the study concludes that staff members of printing rooms are exposed to both cancer and non-cancer occupational health risks.
KeywordsEPA inhalation risk assessment model Printing room Occupational health Risk assessment
The authors thank all the technicians at the laboratory of the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for their contribution during sample test.
Zhengquan Yuan, Chao Liu, and Qiang Wang designed the study. Mingxing Su, Rubao Sun, and Qiang Wang performed the experiments. Xun Zhang, Shen Wang, and Ping Zhang provided the materials and helped analyze the results. Mingxing Su discussed, drafted, and wrote the paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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