Worker exposure and health risks from volatile organic compounds utilized in the paint manufacturing industry in Kenya.

Jumba IO, Wandiga SO. "Worker exposure and health risks from volatile organic compounds utilized in the paint manufacturing industry in Kenya.". In: Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (U.S.A.)16 (11):1035-1042. Association of Africa Universities; 2001.


This study provides a means for the evaluation of cleaner manufacturing and the provision of cost-effective worker health improvements in developing nations. Individual worker exposure to volatile organic compounds was measured in the paint manufacturing plants of Nairobi, Kenya. A variety of different paint production jobs were monitored, including laboratory researchers, mixers, tinters, fillers, cleaners, raw materials deliverers, and resins producers.
Exposure levels were calculated based on a time-weighted average over an entire 8-10 hour workday. The paint solvents used can cause both acute and chronic health problems for the workers exposed. For example, over half of the or-ganics monitored, i.e. benzene, styrene, and xylene, exhibit carcinogenic properties. The lifetime cancer risk from exposure to these paint solvents was estimated utilizing published cancer potencies, and the risks range from 1.90 x 10-4for raw materials deliverers to 2.60 x 10-2for cleaners.
The highest exposure tasks included cleaning the mixing vats and mixing the paint product, ranging from risks of 8.5 x 10-4 to 2.6 x 10-2, providing evidence that solvent exposure occurs due to point sources. Because of this, simple and inexpensive technologies should significantly reduce the excess exposure of workers in these manufacturing facilities. The cost of minor innovations in the plants themselves, such as fans, drum and mixing vat covers, and respirators, could amount to as much as five times less than the estimated cost of treating workers who develop cancer due to paint solvent exposure.
Keywords Benzene Exposure, Developing Countries, Kenya, Occupational Exposure, Paint Manufacturing, Risk As-assessment, Volatile Organic Compounds



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