Occupational Health Aspects of Platinum

  • Rudolf SchierlEmail author
  • Uta Ochmann
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Human health risks at workplaces in platinum industry can emerge from inhalative exposure, explicitly allergic asthma caused by halogenated complex platinum salts. Airborne concentrations of platinum (Pt) are varying (up to 20 µg Pt/m3) among workplaces, but reliable ambient measurements are not easy because of short-term concentration peaks and sensitisation to platinum salts can occur even in low exposure levels. Biological monitoring of Pt in urine gives clear evidence for exposure because values are 100–1,000-fold higher compared to unexposed population (1–10 ng/l). Regular medical examinations are recommended to determine specific sensitisation and work related allergic symptoms. In pharmacies and hospital care units cancerogenic platinum compounds like the drug cisplatin are handled in cancer therapy. In such settings exposure levels are low and urinary Pt concentrations close to those of unexposed people. Therefore, confounders like dental noble metal alloys can have a significant influence and have to be taken in account. Wipe samples have been introduced in pharmacies and hospitals and are an appropriate method to detect contaminated spots and help to reduce exposure to cancerogenic platinum compounds through improvement of work place safety measures.


Skin Prick Test Allergic Asthma Biological Monitoring Platinum Compound Allergic Symptom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Brouwers EEM, Huitema ADR, Bakker EN, Douma JW, Schimmel KJM, van Weringh G, de Wolf PJ, Schellens JHM, Beijnen JH (2007) Monitoring of platinum surface contamination in seven Dutch hospital pharmacies using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 80:689–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Calverley AE, Rees D, Dowdeswell RJ, Linnett PJ, Kielkowski D (1995) Platinum salt sensitivity in refinery workers: incidence and effects of smoking and exposure. Occup Environ Med 52:661–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Connor TH, Sessink PJ, Harrison BR, Pretty JR, Peters BG, Alfaro RM, Bilos A, Beckmann G, Bing MR (2005) Surface contamination of chemotherapy drug vials and evaluation of new vial-cleaning techniques: results of three studies. Am J Health Syst Pharm 62:475–484Google Scholar
  4. Cristaudo A, Sera F, Severino V, De Rocco M, Di Lella E, Picardo M (2005) Occupational hypersensitivity to metal salts, including platinum, in the secondary industry. Allergy 60:159–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dutch Expert Committee on Occupational Standards (DECOS) (2005) Cisplatin, health-based recommended occupational exposure limit. DECOS, a committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands, No. 2005/03OSH, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  6. Dutch Expert Committee on Occupational Standards (DECOS) (2008) Platinum and platinum compounds, Health-based recommended occupational exposure limit. DECOS, a committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands, No. 2008/12OSH, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  7. Eastman A (1986) Reevaluation of interaction of cisdichloro(ethylenediamine)platinum(II) with DNA. Biochemistry 25:3912–3919Google Scholar
  8. Hann S, Stefanka Z, Lenz K, Stingeder G (2005) Novel separation method for highly sensitive speciation of cancerostatic platinum compounds by HPLC-ICP-MS. Anal Bioanal Chem 381:405–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hohnloser JH, Schierl R, Hasford B, Emmerich B (1996) Cisplatin based chemotherpay in testicular cancer patients: Long term platinum excretion and clinical effects. Eur J Med Res 1:509–514Google Scholar
  10. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (1987) Overall evaluations of carcinogenity: an updating of IARC Monograph vol 1–42. IARC Monogr Suppl 7:170–171Google Scholar
  11. Karasek SR, Karasek M (1911) Report of the Illinois state commission of occupational diseases to his excellency governor Charles S Deneen. Warner Printing Company, Chicago 97Google Scholar
  12. Kopp B, Schierl R, Nowak D (2013) Evaluation of working practices and surface contamination with antineoplastic drugs in outpatient oncology health care settings. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 86(1):47–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Korntheuer (2013) Platinkonzentrationen in Urin- und Luftproben zur Abschätzung der inneren Belastung von Beschäftigten in der Edelmetallindustrie. Dissertation University Munich (LMU)Google Scholar
  14. Krachler M, Alimonti A, Petrucci F, Irgolic KJ, Forastiere F, Caroli S (1998) Analytical problems in the determination of platinum-group metals in urine by quadrupole and magnetic sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Anal Chim Acta 363(1):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Linnett PJ, Hughes EG (1999) 20 years of medical surveillance on exposure to allergenic and non-allergenic platinum compounds: the importance of chemical speciation. Occup Environ Med 56(3):191–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mason HJ, Blair S, Sams C, Jones K, Garfitt SJ (2005) Exposure to antineoplastic drugs in two UK hospital pharmacy units. Ann Occup Hyg 49:603–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mason HJ, Morton J, Garfitt SJ, Iqbal S, Jones K (2003) Cytotoxic drug contamination on the outside of vials delivered to a hospital pharmacy. Ann Occup Hyg 47:681–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maynard AD, Northage C, Hemingway M, Bradley SD (1997) Measurement of short-term exposure to airborne soluble platinum in the platinum industry. Ann Occup Hyg 41:77–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Merget R, Kulzer R, Dierkes-Globisch A, Breitstadt R, Gebler A, Kniffka A, Artelt S, Koenig HP, Alt F, Vormberg R, Baur X, Schultze-Werninghaus G (2000) Exposure-effect relationship of platinum salt allergy in a catalyst production plant: conclusions from a 5-year prospective cohort study. J Allergy Clin Immun 105:364–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Messerschmidt J, Alt F, Tölg G, Angerer J, Schaller KH (1992) Adsorptive voltammetric procedure for the determination of platinum baseline levels in human body fluids. Fresenius J Anal Chem 343:391–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Niezborala M, Garnier R (1996) Allergy to complex platinum salts: a historical prospective cohort study. Occup Environ Med 53:252–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nygren O, Gustavsson B, Strom L, Eriksson R, Jarneborn L, Friberg A (2002) Exposure to anti-cancer drugs during preparation and administration. Investigations of an open and a closed system. J Environ Monit 4:739–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pethran A, Schierl R, Hauff K, Grimm CH, Boos KS, Nowak D (2003) Uptake of antineoplastic agents in pharmacy and hospital personnel. Part I: monitoring of urinary concentrations. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 76:5–10Google Scholar
  24. Petrucci F, Violante N, Senofonte O, Cristaudo A, Di Gregorio M (2005) Biomonitoring of a worker population exposed to platinum dust in a catalyst production plant. Occup Environ Med 62:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rosenberg B, van Kamp L, Krigas T (1965) Inhibition of cell division in Escherichia coli by electrolysis products from a platinum electrode. Nature 205:698–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rosner G, Merget R (1999) Evaluation of the health risk of platinum emission control catalysts. In: Zereini F, Alt F (eds) Anthropogenic platinum-group-element emissions and their impact on man and environment. Springer, Verlag , pp 267–283Google Scholar
  27. Sanderson BJS, Ferguson LR, Denny WA (1996) Mutagenic and carcinogenic properties of platinum-based anticancer drugs. Mutat Res 355:59–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schierl R, Fries HG, van de Weyer C, Fruhmann G (1998) Urinary excretion of platinum from platinum industry workers. Occup Environ Med 55:138–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schierl R (2001) Urinary platinum levels associated with dental gold alloys. Arch Environ Health 56(3):283–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schierl R, Böhlandt A, Nowak D (2009) Guidance values for surface monitoring of antineoplastic drugs in German pharmacies. Ann Occup Hyg 53:703–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schierl R, Novotna J, Piso P, Bohlandt A, Nowak D (2012) Low surface contamination by cis/oxaliplatin during hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Eur J Surg Oncol 38:88–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schierl R, Lemmer A, Böhlandt A, Friedl L, Haneder S, Nowak D (2014) Silicone implants—a possible confounder for urinary platinum background concentrations? Environ Res. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.04.017 (in print)
  33. Schmaus G, Schierl R, Funck S (2002) Monitoring surface contamination by antineoplastic drugs using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and voltammetry. Am J Health Syst Pharm 59:956–961Google Scholar
  34. Schramel P, Wendler I, Lustig S (1995) Capability of ICP-MS for Pt-analysis in different matrices at ecologically relevant concentrations. Fresenius J Anal Chem 353:115–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sottani C, Porro B, Comelli M, Imbriani M, Minoia C (2010) An analysis to study trends in occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs among health care workers. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 878:2593–2605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Umweltbundesamt (UBA) (2003) Referenzwert für Platin im Urin. Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschutz 46:448–450Google Scholar
  37. Venables KM, Dally MB, Nunn AJ, Stevens JF, Stephens R, Farrer N, Hunter JV, Stewart M, Hughes EG, Newman Taylor AJ (1989) Smoking and occupational allergy in workers in a platinum refinery. BMJ 299:939–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental MedicineUniversity Hospital of Munich (LMU)MunichGermany

Personalised recommendations