Exposure Assessment and Control

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March 2018

Urine Pots

Toluene – New improved method replacing o-cresol


From April, we will be replacing our o-cresol method for assessing toluene exposure with a new method measuring toluene in urine.  This is more specific than the o-cresol biomarker (which has raised background levels and can be confounded by exposure to o-cresol).  The new test is cheaper and has a quicker turnaround time (20 working days from receipt). 


As we will be measuring toluene itself in urine there is the possibility of sample contamination so please ensure that workers remove overalls and wash their hands before providing samples.  Also ensure that the sample bottle is filled to the marked line to reduce evaporative losses in transit.  We are confident that this new approach is more appropriate for assessing the lower toluene exposures that we see these days and there is an American guidance value to aid interpretation. 


During 2018, any toluene result exceeding the guidance value will also be measured for o-cresol (at no additional charge) to rule out possible sample contamination.  Visit the website for further general information on biological monitoring.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 

On 25 May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect and replace the UKs Data Protection Act 1998. The new law will introduce a new, 21st century approach to data protection. It expands the rights of people to control how their personal information is collected and processed, and places a range of new obligations on organisations to be more accountable for data protection. As a result we will be updating some of our request forms and we will also be using opt-in recruitment for customers to receive updates from the laboratory.  As a subscriber to this eBulletin you are already opted-in but if you are a regular user of our services and wish to receive direct updates about services changes, training courses, customer days etc., please sign up when you receive the invitation.


Please remember you are free to change your subscriber options when ever you want by using the link in the footer below.

Annual Science Review 2018

Annual Science Review 2018

The HSE Annual Science Review was launched on March 14 during British Science Week.  It showcases the impact that our work for both HSE and external organisations is having on supporting delivery of HSE’s strategy ‘Helping GB Work Well.’  There are a number of case studies related to exposure assessment and control from dust control (wind turbine manufacture, wood dust, bakeries) and personal protective equipment (disposable respirators, infectious diseases) to chemical exposures (hydrogen sulphide, benzene, pesticides) and new technologies (additive manufacturing, nanomaterials).


Click here to download a PDF version of the Annual Science Review 2018

Training courses


We are pleased to announce that we will be running the third annual Customer Day in June – further information will be released shortly.