Saf Health Work.  2013 Dec;4(4):216-220.

Exposure Assessment Suggests Exposure to Lung Cancer Carcinogens in a Painter Working in an Automobile Bumper Shop

  • 1Occupational Lung Disease Institute, Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service, Ansan, Korea.
  • 2Institute for Occupational Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae, Korea.


A 46-year-old man who had worked as a bumper spray painter in an automobile body shop for 15 years developed lung cancer. The patient was a nonsmoker with no family history of lung cancer. To determine whether the cancer was related to his work environment, we assessed the level of exposure to carcinogens during spray painting, sanding, and heat treatment. The results showed that spray painting with yellow paint increased the concentration of hexavalent chromium in the air to as much as 118.33 microg/m3. Analysis of the paint bulk materials showed that hexavalent chromium was mostly found in the form of lead chromate. Interestingly, strontium chromate was also detected, and the concentration of strontium chromate increased in line with the brightness of the yellow color. Some paints contained about 1% crystalline silica in the form of quartz.


exposure assessment; hexavalent chromium; lung cancer; painting
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