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Hongguang Yang|Health Risk Assessment for Occupational Chemical Exposure

Date:2017-07-28Author:
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Hongguang Yang

Industrial Hygiene Manager

APAC EHS Center of Excellence

Huntsman


In 1985, he graduated from School of Public Health, Harbin Medical University. In 1993, he got the master degree of occupational Health from School of Public Health, Shanghai Medical University. He worked in Shanghai CDC and Shanghai Medical University engaging in occupational health management, teaching and research. From 1999 to now, he has worked in Kodak, Intel, GE and Huntsman engaging in industrial hygiene and occupational health. 


Topic of Lecture: Health Risk Assessment for Occupational Chemical Exposure- semi quantitative approach


Abstract: Occupational chemical risk assessment is determined by evaluating the inherent hazards of the chemicals and their exposure potentials. There are two approaches for chemical risk assessment, qualitative and semi-quantitative. Qualitative use subjective parameters such as likelihood to determine the exposure. And semi-quantitative use object parameters such as quantity handled, vapor pressure/boiling point and frequency/duration etc to determine the exposure.

The inherent hazards of each chemical can be obtained from the safety data sheets, toxicological studies and other authoritative sources  

The exposure potentials evaluate the likelihood of the chemical enters the body, e.g. via inhalation or dermal/eye etc. The exposure potential depends on physical properties, e.g. airborne potential of the chemical, ease of chemical to enter dermal barrier or eyes, quantity handled, how the chemical is being released into the work environment which is dependent on process types, frequency and duration of the task and engineering control measures that are put in place etc.

There are six key steps for a semi quantitative chemical risk assessment:Identify tasks of each process and chemicals handled;Identify chemicals; Evaluate chemical hazards;Evaluate  exposure potential;Risk evaluation and conclusion;Identify follow-up actions for risk reduction.

The result of the chemical risk assessment is the outcome of the inherent hazard and exposure potential of the chemical.  The outcome of chemical risk assessment is used to determine the action priority and if existing controls are appropriate or need improvement.