Torben Sigsgaard

Determinants of wood dust exposure in the Danish furniture industry

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  • Anders B Mikkelsen
  • ,
  • Vivi Schlunssen
  • Torben Sigsgaard
  • Inger Schaumburg, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Regional Hospital Viborg, Skive, Danmark
  • Afdeling for Miljø- og Arbejdsmedicin
This paper investigates the relation between wood dust exposure in the furniture industry and occupational hygiene variables. During the winter 1997-98 54 factories were visited and 2362 personal, passive inhalable dust samples were obtained; the geometric mean was 0.95 mg/m(3) and the geometric standard deviation was 2.08. In a first measuring round 1685 dust concentrations were obtained. For some of the workers repeated measurements were carried out 1 (351) and 2 weeks (326) after the first measurement. Hygiene variables like job, exhaust ventilation, cleaning procedures, etc., were documented. A multivariate analysis based on mixed effects models was used with hygiene variables being fixed effects and worker, machine, department and factory being random effects. A modified stepwise strategy of model making was adopted taking into account the hierarchically structured variables and making possible the exclusion of non-influential random as well as fixed effects. For woodworking, the following determinants of exposure increase the dust concentration: manual and automatic sanding and use of compressed air with fully automatic and semi-automatic machines and for cleaning of work pieces. Decreased dust exposure resulted from the use of compressed air with manual machines, working at fully automatic or semi-automatic machines, functioning exhaust ventilation, work on the night shift, daily cleaning of rooms, cleaning of work pieces with a brush, vacuum cleaning of machines, supplementary fresh air intake and safety representative elected within the last 2 yr. For handling and assembling, increased exposure results from work at automatic machines and presence of wood dust on the workpieces. Work on the evening shift, supplementary fresh air intake, work in a chair factory and special cleaning staff produced decreased exposure to wood dust. The implications of the results for the prevention of wood dust exposure are discussed.
TidsskriftAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Sider (fra-til)673-85
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2002

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