Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, Vol 93, No 12

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Health Risk Assessment of Workers Exposed to Metals from an Aluminium Production Plant

Surasak Buranatrevedh

Abstract


Objective: Foundry is an industry involved various kinds of metals and chemicals. Workers who work in foundry industry are
at risk of exposure to these metals and chemicals. Objective of this study was to conduct quantitative health risk assessment
for workers who exposed to metals from an aluminium production industry.

Material and Method: The U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ four steps of health risk assessment were used to conduct
quantitative health risk assessment in this study.

Results:
This study showed that there were 6 types of metals involved in the aluminium foundry in this study. These metals
could cause various health effects but not cancers. Workers were mostly exposed to these metals by inhalation. Calculated
reference dose (RfD) for inhalation of aluminium used in this assessment was 0.000015 mg/kg/day. Calculated RfD for
inhalation of manganese used in this assessment was 0.000002 mg/kg/day. Calculated RfD for inhalation of copper used in
this assessment was 0.000028 mg/kg/day. Calculated RfD for inhalation of zinc used in this assessment was 0.000083 mg/
kg/day. Calculated RfD for inhalation of magnesium used in this assessment was 0.949833 mg/kg/day. Calculated RfD for
inhalation of iron used in this assessment was 10.6219 mg/kg/day. Maximum daily doses (MDDs) for workers who exposed
to metals measured in this foundry were 0, 0, 0.000463, 0.0000927, 0.000162 and 0 mg/kg/day for manganese, zinc,
aluminium, iron, magnesium and copper, respectively. Finally, risk characterization for workers exposed to metals in this
aluminium foundry showed that workers in this foundry had 31 times higher risk of developing diseases from aluminium than
persons who were not exposed to aluminium. These workers had the same risk of developing diseases from other metals and
chemicals as persons who were not exposed to those metals and chemicals.

Conclusion:
Workers who exposed to aluminium in this aluminium production plant had 31 times risk of developing noncarcinogenic
effects from aluminium compared with normal persons. Therefore, appropriate preventive measures should be
applied to protect workers.

Keywords:
Risk assessment, Aluminium, Exposure assessment

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