Contaminated glow

Published: Wednesday 31 January 1996

Workers exposed to hazardous chemicals at work often use protective clothing to prevent skin contamination. But they still run the risk of exposure (Spectrum, September- October, 1995).

To assess the effectiveness of the protective clothing, a group of occupational hygienists at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Britain developed a new method to measure skin contamination, using a fluorescence monitor. It detects the chemical used by the workers using ultra- violet light. The glowing dye indicates the spot where the chemical splashed. The extent of contamination is indicated by the intensity of the glow.

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