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Toxicological information

Health surveillance data

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health surveillance data
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: A summary of health surveillance data is provided in the Executive Summary.

Data source

Materials and methods

Test material


Results and discussion

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Executive summary:


Health surveillance data were reported in six separate studies, only three of which were considered robust (i.e., scored as K1/K2). Collectively, these three studies provide information to characterize correlations between concentrations of nickel in air and in biological samples (e.g., blood, urine, nasal mucosa) in occupational settings involving nickel oxide exposure. It is important to note that the relationships between nickel in air and in biological samples is different for water soluble and insoluble (e.g., nickel oxide) nickel compounds. Biological samples reflect absorption of nickel by all routes of exposure and the blood or urine values do not necessarily correlate with adverse effects in the lung of workers.

Two studies generally indicate that exposure to nickel (including nickel oxide) in occupational settings is correlated with levels of nickel measured in urine. Roels et al. (1993) reported that post-shift urinary nickel concentrations accounted for approximately 25% of the nickel in personal respirable airborne dust, though pre-shift urine concentrations did not correlate well. Similarly, Torjussen and Andersen (1979) reported that nickel concentrations in urine, blood and nasal mucosa samples significantly correlated with the length of nickel exposure. These authors also reported that levels in workers were significantly higher than a related control group, and that levels were different between current and retired workers.

A single study reported on the prevalence of small opacities in radiographs collected from workers at a sinter plant with significant nickel oxide exposures; no appreciable disease in the study population based on both round and irregular opacities (Muir et al 1993).

Collectively these data indicate that exposure to nickel oxide, along with other nickel compounds, in some occupational settings is associated with higher levels of nickel in urine, blood and nasal mucosa as compared to non-exposed persons.