Mitigating Exposure to Volatile Compounds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


    To protect transported freight and inhibit the spread of foreign species, containers are always fumigated with chemicals and many of these are also dangerous to humans. Often, warning labels and proper documents regarding fumigant treatment are missing from containers, and based on recent inside air studies, freight containers may also contain concentrations of volatile compounds evaporated from cargo such as benzene, toluene and formaldehyde. These may originate from adhesives, paints or raw materials.
    This article presents the study conducted by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland on the potential exposure of workers to harmful volatile compounds existing inside of freight containers and imported goods packages. The first part of the study focused on examining the ventilation of freight containers and its duration in different kinds of circumstances. These included type of loading, with or without mechanical exhaust ventilation, and testing at various different temperatures.
    The objective of this study was to produce reliable research data and provide foundations for drawing up national occupational health and safety guidelines for container handling. The results were also utilized at work places in defining the appropriate and safe occupational health practices. The literature part of the study clarified the gaseous chemical compounds found in freight containers and their properties, as well as suitable measuring methods for measuring the concentrations of such gases. The second part of the research focused on the potential occupational exposures during unloading the containers and handling the imported goods along the logistic chain up to retail shop.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)108-109
    Number of pages2
    JournalJournal of Ports and Terminals - PTI
    Issue numberSmart Digital Ports
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2019
    MoE publication typeD1 Article in a trade journal


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