Evaluation of Workers Exposed to Ethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether and Ethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether Acetate




    • PARK Jiyoung PARK Jiyoung
    • Institute of Health and Environment, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Seoul National University
    • YOON Chungsik YOON Chungsik
    • Institute of Health and Environment, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Seoul National University
    • KIM Yangho
    • Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine
    • PARK Donguk
    • Department of Environmental Health, Korean Open National University
    • HA Kwonchul
    • Department of Biochemistry and Health Science, Changwon University
    • PARK Sungki
    • Department of Occupational Health, Dong Kang Hospital
    • CHUNG Eunkyo
    • Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency


<b>Objectives:</b> Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME) and ethylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate (EGMEA) are widely used in industries as solvents for coatings, paint and ink, but exposure data are limited because they are minor components out of mixed solvents, as well as because of inconsistency in desorption solvent use. The objective of this study was to investigate the worker exposure profile of EGME and EGMEA. <b>Methods:</b> Our study investigated 27 workplaces from June to September 2008 and detected EGME and EGMEA in 20 and 13, respectively. Both personal and area sampling were conducted using a charcoal tube to collect EGME and EGMEA. Gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector was used to analyze these compounds after desorption using a mixture of methylene chloride and methanol. <b>Results:</b> The arithmetic mean concentrations of EGME and EGMEA during periods of full work shifts were 2.59 ppm and 0.33 ppm, respectively. The exposure levels were lower than the Korean Ministry of Labor (MOL) OEL (5 ppm) but higher than the ACGIH TLV (0.1 ppm). <b>Conclusions:</b> In general, the working environments were poor and required much improvement, including the use of personal protective equipment. Only 50% of the workplaces had local exhaust ventilation systems in operation. The average capture velocity of the operating local exhaust ventilation systems was 0.27 m/s, which did not meet the legal requirement of 0.5 m/s. Educating workers to clearly understand the handling and use of hazardous chemicals and improving working conditions are strongly suggested.


  • Journal of occupational health

    Journal of occupational health 54(2), 141-146, 2012-03-01

    公益社団法人 日本産業衛生学会

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