A Study of Working Environment for Automotive Painting in Auto Repair Shops and Workers' Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals

자동차 정비업체 도장공정의 작업환경 및 근로자 노출 실태에 관한 연구

  • Sim, Sang-Hyo (Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University Medical Center) ;
  • Jeoung, Chun-Hwa (Department of Occupational Health & Safety Engineering Semyung University) ;
  • Lim, Jin-Suk (Kangbuk Samsung Hospital) ;
  • Lee, Hyung-Gu (Department of Social Welfare Hanbuk University) ;
  • Kim, Yoon-Shin (Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University Medical Center)
  • Published : 2009.06.30


The purpose of this paper is to evaluate 1) blood lead levels of workers at auto repair shops as Biological Exposure Indices (BEI) of toxic substances such as lead and toluene that are produced during automotive painting process, 2) the differences depending on personal characteristics of workers who have been exposed to toluene by using urine hippuric acid concentration as a marker and 3) the correlation between the concentration of hazardous chemicals in each workplace and the BEL. All subjects were male with a mean age of 36.2 years. In terms of age, most were in the 30 to 40 age group (13 persons, 48.1%). In relation to the length of work experience, the highest proportion had experience of 10 years of less (18 persons, 66.7%). Twenty three workers were cigarette smokers (85.2%) while 4 (14.8%) were non-smokers. In addition, more than 80% of the workers drank alcohol. Dust concentration and toluene exposure during automotive painting showed no significant difference with age, length of work experience, smoking and drinking while a significant difference (p<0.05) has been detected between lead concentration and smoking. The geometric mean of dust concentration, lead concentration and toluene concentration were $0.38mg/m^3,\;0.0021mg/m^3$ and 1.08ppm respectively. In addition, the geometric mean of blood lead levels and urine hippuric acid concentration were $1.70{\mu}g/dl$ and 0.25g/g respectively, which were lower than the standard levels suggested by the Ministry of Labor. To determine the influential factors on blood lead and urine hippuric acid concentrations, a correlation analysis has been conducted with variables of air, lead and toluene concentrations, age, length of work experience and amount of cigarette smoking. According to the analysis, a relatively high correlation (p<0.01) has been observed between air lead concentration and biological sample concentration.


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