IOM publishes paper on dermal exposure among oil spill response and clean-up workers


IOM scientists Professor John Cherrie and Dr Anne Sleeuwenhoek have co-authored a paper entitled "GuLF DREAM: A Model to Estimate Dermal Exposure Among Oil Spill Response and Clean-up Workers" published in The Annals of Work Exposures and Health

Tens of thousands of individuals performed oil spill response and clean-up (OSRC) activities following the ‘Deepwater Horizon’ oil drilling rig explosion in 2010. Many were exposed to oil residues and dispersants. The US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences assembled a cohort of nearly 33 000 workers to investigate potential adverse health effects of oil spill exposures. Estimates of dermal and inhalation exposure are required for those individuals. Ambient breathing-zone measurements taken at the time of the spill were used to estimate inhalation exposures for participants in the GuLF STUDY (Gulf Long-term Follow-up Study), but no dermal measurements were collected. Consequently, a modelling approach was used to estimate dermal exposures. We sought to modify DREAM (DeRmal Exposure Assessment Method) to optimize the model for assessing exposure to various oil spill-related substances and to incorporate advances in dermal exposure research. Each DREAM parameter was reviewed in the context of literature published since 2000 and modified where appropriate. To reflect the environment in which the OSRC work took place, the model treatment of evaporation was expanded to include vapour pressure and wind speed, and the effect of seawater on exposure was added. The modified model is called GuLF DREAM and exposure is estimated in GuLF DREAM units (GDU). 

The full text of the paper is available here.