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Epoxies are used widely in industrial and domestic applications, and apart from carcinogenic concerns, they are best known as both sensitizers and irritants in terms of dermatological and respiratory impacts. Neurological impacts from epoxy use, however, have not been reported thus far in the occupational or environmental health literature.
This project was designed to further the understanding of epoxy materials and their applications in terms of the potential for harmful exposures, to understand what is presented in the industry, agency, and other scientific literature relative to exposure opportunities and the potential for neurotoxic impacts, and to document past usage of epoxies at the K-25 facility as a representation of circumstances involving higher exposures. With this information a public health strategy specific to the K-25 population and the epoxy industry as a whole was to be formulated to address potential neurotoxic concerns including the need for further medical care, industrial hygiene measurements, protective measures, toxicology, and epidemiology.
To accomplish these tasks, comprehensive and current industry textbooks and literature were reviewed on epoxy formulation and usage. Key epoxy constituents were identified to complete the search for any existing literature on neurotoxic findings. Regulatory or agency investigations were explored to identify what is known thus far about exposures to these constituents and effects on workers. Relative to K-25 activities, a formal survey instrument was developed for information gathering purposes only, to ask workers about typical epoxy use practices, and to gain an understanding of the potential level of epoxy exposures in these settings.
This research was completed money allocated during Round 5 of the Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund (MTA Fund). Clark University was named conservator of these works.
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Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
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Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Bird, Richard, "Exploring Epoxy Use at the Oak Ridge K-25 Facility and New Concerns about Neurotoxic Risks" (2007). Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). 1.