.................................

.................................

Media Release - MINIMISE OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO ACRYLAMIDE SAYS REPORT

 

05 Feb 2002

 

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) today released for public comment a draft report on the hazardous industrial chemical acrylamide, after concerns were raised over possible human health and environmental hazards.

Large quantities of acrylamide are imported into Australia annually and used primarily by industry to manufacture other chemicals known as polyacrylamides.

The main uses of polyacrylamides are as flocculants for drinking water and sewage treatment and for treating industrial effluent/wastewater, for example, from mining and paper/pulp manufacture. Other uses of polyacrylamides are in surface coatings and adhesives, textile dyeing, leather processing, paper and cardboard manufacture and in cosmetics.

Smaller amounts of acrylamide are used by research laboratories. Despite information on the import of acrylamide grouts, no importers or users were found during the assessment.

Risk to the general public of exposure to acrylamide is low. Skin contact or inhalation may lead to serious health effects.

The report recommends a number of measures to reduce occupational risk, including amendments to the hazard classification and concentration cut-off limits, establishment of formal health surveillance guidelines, notification by companies planning to introduce and/or use acrylamide-based grouts, improved workplace control measures, air monitoring and additions to MSDS and labels.

Submissions must be received by 5 March 2002.
 

About NICNAS

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) operates under the Commonwealth Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989.

NICNAS is a statutory scheme within the portfolio of the Minister for Health and Ageing. Its approach to the scientific assessment of chemicals covers toxicity, exposure and use to assess the environmental, public health and occupational health and safety risk. For more information see the web site www.nicnas.gov.au
 

Further information

Nick Miller, NICNAS, (02) 8577 8810 or 0407 228 285

 

.................................