Surface wipe sampling in areas where food and beverages are consumed and stored (including water bubblers, coolers, and drinking fountains) can be used to assess the potential for ingestion or dermal exposure.

Such wipe sampling results can be used to support citations for violations of the Sanitation standard, .141, or the applicable housekeeping provisions of the expanded health standards, such as Chromium (VI), .1026.

Skin exposure to chemicals in the workplace is a significant problem in the United States.

Both the number of cases and the rate of skin disorders exceed recordable respiratory conditions.

Lab analysis is used to determine whether the composition of the dust poses an explosion hazard.

Skin contact with chemicals can result in irritation, allergic response, chemical burns, and allergic contact dermatitis.

To assess the potential for skin absorption, surface wipe sampling in work areas may be used to show the potential for contact with contaminated surfaces.

Such results could be used to support violations of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard, .132(a), or applicable provisions of the expanded health standards, such as the Methylenedianiline standard, .1050.

The number of occupational illnesses caused by skin absorption of chemicals is not known.

However, of the estimated 60,000 deaths and 860,000 occupational illnesses per year in the United States attributed to occupational exposures, even a relatively small percentage caused by skin absorption would represent a significant health risk (Boeniger, 2003).

Biological monitoring refers to testing which is conducted to determine whether uptake of a chemical into the body has occurred.

Biological monitoring tests assess a sample of a worker's urine, blood, exhaled breath, or other biological media to evaluate the presence of a chemical or its metabolite, or a biochemical change characteristic of exposure to a particular chemical.

This chapter discusses methods for assessing skin contamination, such as dermal dosimeters (e.g., sorbent pads) and dermal wipe sampling, and provides guidance for monitoring of biological uptake.