gms | German Medical Science

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007

17. bis 21.09.2007, Augsburg

Exposure to Inhalable Wood Dust in German Wood Industries

Meeting Abstract

  • Isabelle Groß - Berufsgenossenschaftliches Forschungsinstitut für Arbeitsmedizin (BGFA), Bochum
  • Beate Pesch - Berufsgenossenschaftliches Forschungsinstitut für Arbeitsmedizin (BGFA), Bochum
  • Christiane Barbara Pierl - Berufsgenossenschaftliches Forschungsinstitut für Arbeitsmedizin (BGFA), Bochum
  • Roland Sonntag - Holz-Berufsgenosschenschaft (HBG), München
  • Marnix Poppe - Holz-Berufsgenosschenschaft (HBG), Köln
  • Jörg Neuschaefer-Rube - Holz-Berufsgenosschenschaft (HBG), Köln
  • Johannes Schulze - Holz-Berufsgenosschenschaft (HBG), München
  • Thomas Brüning - Berufsgenossenschaftliches Forschungsinstitut für Arbeitsmedizin (BGFA), Bochum

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007. Augsburg, 17.-21.09.2007. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2007. Doc07gmds820

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Veröffentlicht: 6. September 2007

© 2007 Groß et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Introduction: In Germany, 704,000 workers are exposed to wood dust. We present German data on inhalable wood dust by industry, calendar time and other factors. Part of the data were included in the WOODEX database of the WOOD-RISK project on health effects of occupational exposure to wood dust (Kauppinen et al., 2006).

Methods: The wood-dust database comprises around 13,000 personal measurements of the inhalable fraction of wood dust during 1986-2005 at German workplaces. For analysis, only measurements with a minimum sampling time of two hours are considered (almost 10,000 measurements). The data are analyzed by industry, calendar time and other factors. Workplaces are coded according to the classification of the German MEGA exposure database. Recoding of industries is performed at the three digit-level of NACE Revision 1.1 for a subset of around 7,000 measurements.

Results: A reduction in wood dust concentrations from levels between 2 to 3 mg/m³ to levels of approximately 1 mg/m³ can be observed from 1993 on. Over time, the wood dust concentrations were in average 1.5 to 2 mg/m³ lower at workplaces with extraction systems compared to workplaces without extraction systems. For small enterprises (< 20 workers) in average higher exposure levels can be found between 1986 and 1995. After 1995 however, also smaller companies show average exposure levels below 2 mg/m³. The wood dust concentrations showed some variation by type of industry, but no clear pattern.

Discussion: Recent wood dust levels are in average below 2 mg/m³, the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for new equipments since 1987 in Germany. Technological improvements of extraction systems contributed to the reduction in exposure levels since 1993. Dust extraction systems have a major impact on the reduction of the wood-dust concentration at work places and play an important role in the prevention of wood dust related diseases like sino-nasal cancer.


Kauppinen, T, Vincent, R, Liukkonen, T, et al. 2006. Occupational exposure to inhalable wood dust in the member states of the European Union. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 50: 549-61.