Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Estimation of occupational exposure to inhalable wood dust by country, industry, the level of exposure and type of wood dust in 25 member states

The Project estimated occupational exposure to inhalable wood dust in 25 EU member states. National labour force statistics, country questionnaires (i15 member states), company surveys (Finland, France, Germany and Spain), exposure measurements (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), and expert judgments were used for preliminary estimates according to industrial class (6 wood industries, 4 other sectors) and level of exposure (5 classes). The estimates were reviewed by national experts from 15 member states. Crude estimates were produced for 10 new member states.

In 2000-2003, about 3.6 million workers (2.0% of the employed) were occupationally exposed to inhalable wood dust in EU. Construction employed 1.2 million exposed workers (33%), 700000 (20%) were exposed in furniture industry, 300000 (9%) in manufacture of builders carpentry, 200000 (5%) in sawmilling, 15,000 (4%) in forestry, and <100000 in other wood industries. The highest number of exposed workers was in Germany (700000). The highest exposure levels were in construction sector and furniture industry. About 560000 workers (16% of the exposed) may be exposed to levels exceeding 5mg/m3. Mixed exposure was very common, but reliable data on exposure to different species of wood could not be retrieved.

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