Occupational Health & Safety

Example Projects


The workplace can present unique opportunities for exposure to chemicals seldom found in other settings, as well as higher exposures to common chemicals found in everyday life. The multidisciplinary practice of occupational health and safety aims to evaluate health risks and decrease them, if possible, using exposure and air modeling specialists as well as toxicologists, who can evaluate the relationship between exposure and response. Gradient has a long history of assessing health and safety risks to workers. Our team has expertise in occupational toxicology, biomonitoring, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, air monitoring and modeling, risk assessment, and risk communication in occupational settings. In addition, Gradient staff participate in setting occupational standards and are members of several committees involved in protecting occupational health and safety (e.g., the Toxicology Committee of the American Industrial Hygiene Association).

Occupational health and safety is multidisciplinary and includes:

  • Industrial hygiene
  • Toxicology
  • Risk assessment
  • Exposure assessment
  • Air modeling
  • Historical toxicology
  • Epidemiology
  • Lead expertise

Example Publications:

Beyer, LA; Greenberg, G; Beck, BD. 2014. "Evaluation of potential exposure to metals in laundered shop towels." Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess. 20(1):111-136.

Occupational Health and Safety

Example Projects

Comment on Proposed ACGIH Manganese TLV

Full Description

Gradient commented on the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists' (ACGIH) proposed threshold limit value (TLV) for manganese. We evaluated the methodology applied by ACGIH, compared the use of published regression analyses of manganese dose-response data to benchmark dose modeling of more recent data, and identified appropriate adverse effect levels of manganese in occupational studies.

Historical Toxicology and Weight-of-evidence Evaluations

Full Description

As part of state of the art analyses, Gradient compiled and interpreted historical information on toxicity and exposure for numerous workplace chemicals, including metals, dioxin, asbestos, formaldehyde, styrene, coal tar, and solvents. We prepared weight-of-evidence evaluations of chemicals often found in the workplace, including formaldehyde, naphthalene, toluene diisocyanate, styrene, and trichloroethylene.

Occupational Exposure Evaluations

Full Description

Using air data, Gradient evaluated worker exposure to numerous chemicals, including oil mist, solvents, PAHs, acrolein, lead; gases and fumes from welding operations, and asbestos, in various workplaces. We also conducted air modeling to estimate worker exposure during utility repair/installation, trench construction, site remediation, and historical operations as well as worker exposure via ingestion of metal particles.

Occupational Exposure Limit Development for Fragrance Substances

Full Description

Gradient developed occupational exposure limits (OELs) to conservatively assess potential risk to workers exposed to fragrance substances. We also estimated worker exposures using air modeling approaches and publicly available tools, such as the Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA) tool from the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) and ChemSTEER from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Phosphorous Plant Risks

Full Description

Gradient assessed worker exposure to elemental phosphorus and radionuclides at a Superfund site, where we also evaluated SO2 and PM community air quality impacts. We critiqued ATSDR Public Health Assessments for the site and assisted the client with risk communication to workers and nearby residents.

Exposure of Workers to Metals in Materials Used for Road Construction

Full Description

Gradient assessed potential worker exposure to metals associated with smelter material used for construction during road and bridge repair work. We conducted a study in which volunteers handled material in a manner that simulated contact to smelter materials during construction activities. Using these results, we calculated exposure from dermal contact and inadvertent ingestion of material on hands.