An assessment of the relative influence of a vapor recovery system in reducing occupational exposure to volatile organic compounds in high performance liquid chromatography
Occupational exposures to organic solvents, specifically acetonitrile and methanol, have the potential to cause serious long-term health effects. In the laboratory, these solvents are used extensively in protocols involving the use of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Operators of HPLC equipment may be potentially exposed to these organic solvents when local exhaust ventilation is not employed properly or is not available, which can be the case in many settings. The objective of this research was to characterize the various sites of vapor release in the HPLC process and then to determine the relative influence of a novel vapor recovery system on the overall exposure to laboratory personnel. The effectiveness of steps to reduce environmental solvent vapor concentrations was assessed by measuring exposure levels of acetonitrile and methanol before and after installation of the vapor recovery system. With respect to acetonitrile, the concentration was not statistically significant with p=0.938; moreover, exposure after the intervention was actually higher than prior to intervention. With respect to methanol, the concentration was not statistically significant with p=0.278. This indicates that the exposure to methanol after the intervention was not statistically significantly higher or lower than prior to intervention. Thus, installation of the vapor recovery device did not result in statistically significant reduction in exposures in the settings encountered, and acetonitrile actually increased significantly.
Occupational health|Analytical chemistry|Public health
Gonzalez, Susana Calderon, "An assessment of the relative influence of a vapor recovery system in reducing occupational exposure to volatile organic compounds in high performance liquid chromatography" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497538.