Aircraft are constructed by modules that are covered by a “primer” layer, which can often contain hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], known carcinogen to humans. While the occupational exposure to Cr(VI) during aircraft painting is ascertained, the exposure assessment of assembly workers (assemblers) requires investigations. Three biological monitoring campaigns (BM-I,II,III) were performed in an aviation industry, on homogeneous groups of assemblers (N = 43) and controls (N = 23), by measuring chromium concentrations in end-shift urine collected at the end of the working week and the chromium concentration difference between end- and before-shift urines. BM-I was conducted on full-timeworkers,BM-II was performed on workers after a 3–4 day absence from work, BM-III on workers using ecoprimers with lower Cr(VI) content. Samples were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy and mean values were compared by T-test. Even if Cr concentrations measured during BM-I were lower than Biological Exposure Indices by ACGIH, statistically significant differences were found between urinary Cr concentrations of workers and controls. Despite 3–4 days of absence from work, urinary chromium concentrations measured during BM-II were still higher than references from nonoccupationally exposed populations. In the BM-III campaign, the obtained preliminary results suggested the efficacy of using ecoprimers. The healthcare of workers exposed to carcinogenic agents follows the principle of limiting the exposure to “the minimum technically possible”. The obtained results evidence that assemblers of aviation industries, whose task does not involve the direct use of primers containing Cr(VI), show an albeit slight occupational exposure to Cr(VI), that must be carefully taken into consideration in planning suitable prevention measures during risk assessment and management processes.
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