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Exposures to hazardous airborne substances in the wood conversion sector

The aims of this project are:

  1. To conduct a comprehensive review of the literature that will provide an overview of the key airborne exposures associated with elevated risks of cancer, respiratory morbidity and mortality, and other work-related illnesses in the New Zealand wood conversion sector (as defined above);
  2. To compare exposure levels reported in the literature with national and international limits;
  3. To assess the prevalence of these exposures in the New Zealand wood conversion sector;
  4. To assess which strategies have been most effective in reducing exposure in other countries;
  5. To conduct an exposure survey in the New Zealand plywood, veneer, and fibre/particle board manufacturing industry involving measurements of airborne substances including wood dust, formaldehyde, and fungal and bacterial toxins;
  6. To adapt and validate an international department-exposure-matrix (PAPDEM) for airborne exposures in the pulp and paper industry for future use in New Zealand, and to develop a job exposure matrix for the New Zealand plywood, veneer, and fibre/particle board manufacturing industry;
  7. To estimate the risks to health of such exposures in the New Zealand wood conversion sector;
  8. To consult with the key stakeholders in the wood conversion sector to assess attitudes, perceptions and behaviours regarding health and safety, sources of information, and possible interventions for the reduction of exposure to airborne substances causing work-related illnesses in this industry.

November 2009