Objectives: To develop a highly sensitive analytical method for very low acrylamide (AA) exposure and to conduct an occupational exposure assessment by the developed method. Methods: Seventy-five air samples from four plants were collected and analyzed using an isotope-dilution gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Results: This isotope-dilution GC-MS method is sufficiently sensitive for assessing very low AA level as 4.37 ng m23, which is 10- to 7500-fold lower than the current analytical method. Field study showed that most airborne AA was gaseous rather than particulate. The personal exposure levels in workers ranged from 4.37 3 1023 mg m23 to 94.90 mg m23 with a mean of 12.08 mg m23. Fifty percent of personal 8-h time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations in the AA production plant exceeded the threshold limit value of 30 mg m23 set by American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Conclusions: The field study indicated that 8-h TWA concentrations in workers varied by two orders of magnitude. The highly sensitive method can be used in future health risk assessment of AA exposure, such as those in fast-food restaurants.
- exposure assessment
- gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
- isotope dilution
- occupational exposure