This project is one of a series of concept studies commission by the Office of the ASCC to examine options for the collection of occupational disease hazard surveillance data.
Requisite information was gathered via a review of published Australian literature; requests to government agencies, consultants, industry associations, specific industries and researchers; telephone surveys and new air sampling.
It was found that 72% of hardwood dust exposures exceeded the relevant standard; solid softwoods 22%; reconstituted woods 28% and mixed woods 25%. On the other hand, gaseous formaldehyde exposures were generally low compared with the standard.
Personal exposure covers a range and can be attributable to a host of factors including the type of wood processing activity, the availability and effectiveness of local exhaust ventilation and work practices; the aim of the project was to examine the extent to which existing surveillance data sources could be used as estimates of hazard exposure with regards to wood dust and formaldehyde.