Validation and Comparison of Two Sampling Methods to Assess Dermal Exposure to Drilling Fluids and Crude Oil

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Abstract

Dermal exposure to drilling fluids and crude oil is an exposure route of concern. However, there have been no published studies describing sampling methods or reporting dermal exposure measurements. We describe a study that aimed to evaluate a wipe sampling method to assess dermal exposure to an oil-based drilling fluid and crude oil, as well as to investigate the feasibility of using an interception cotton glove sampler for exposure on the hands/wrists. A direct comparison of the wipe and interception methods was also completed using pigs' trotters as a surrogate for human skin and a direct surface contact exposure scenario. Overall, acceptable recovery and sampling efficiencies were reported for both methods, and both methods had satisfactory storage stability at 1 and 7 days, although there appeared to be some loss over 14 days. The methods' comparison study revealed significantly higher removal of both fluids from the metal surface with the glove samples compared with the wipe samples (on average 2.5 times higher). Both evaluated sampling methods were found to be suitable for assessing dermal exposure to oil-based drilling fluids and crude oil; however, the comparison study clearly illustrates that glove samplers may overestimate the amount of fluid transferred to the skin. Further comparison of the two dermal sampling methods using additional exposure situations such as immersion or deposition, as well as a field evaluation, is warranted to confirm their appropriateness and suitability in the working environment.

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