Biological monitoring can be used to indicate how much of a chemical has entered the body. It involves measuring the chemical an employee is exposed to at work (or what it breaks down into) in a sample of their breath, urine or blood. Which of these three samples is used depends on how the chemical you are exposed to is processed by your body. Biological monitoring is often used together with air monitoring.
Biological monitoring is especially useful when there is likely significant absorption through the skin; and control of exposure depends on personal protective equipment.
A further benefit is the ‘personal’ nature of biological monitoring: results can be used to give workers reassurance about their exposure and risk of ill health.
Examples of Biological Monitoring include:
- Mercury Creatinine estimation for people in contact with mercury
- Arsenic Creatinine ratio for people working with arsenic containing chemicals
- Copper and Antimony levels for people working with these metals
- Isocyanate levels for people working with these chemicals
- Lead levels
This test can easily be carried out on your site in conjunction with skin and respiratory surveillance.
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