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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versão On-line ISSN 2173-9110versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727


CALERA RUBIO, Alfonso A et al. Occupational Chemical Risk: Elements for a Diagnostic in Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.79, n.2, pp.283-295. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Lack of information and accurate knowledge about the properties of chemicals and the exposure derived from its use; hinder health and safety measures to protect exposed workers. The aim of this study is to identify the elements that will help us draw a balance of chemical hazards in Spain and register the most dangerous chemicals at the workplace (by sector or field of activity). Methods: Study of secondary sources, identification of risk perception by workers' representatives and study of the approach on chemical risk in risk assessments. The last step is to set up a Chemical Exposure Database arranged by industrial sectors. Results: Great volumes of production and consumption of chemicals, generalization of exposure, but insufficient data on specific use; little information is provided on specific dangerous factors of commonly used chemicals; chemicals are barely identified in risk assessments. High levels of exposure in industrial sectors; damage is not adequately registered; there are difficulties in risk perception. Set-up of a preliminary database on exposure by sector of activity. Conclusions: Data is collected; information sources and procedures, which allow a forecast of chemical risk, are identified. A database on exposure by sector of activity is developed (to be checked and enhanced as new evidence is found).

Palavras-chave : Chemical contamination; Toxic Substances; Products and Materials; Toxic dangers; Occupational health; Environmental pollution.

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