Although exposure to specific forms of nickel differs among using and producing industries, the main exposure routes of toxicological relevance – inhalation and, to a lesser extent, skin contact – are the same in both industries.
The wide range of occupations with direct exposure to nickel via these routes of exposure are summarized below within 13 different industrial sectors. These sectors are:
- refining, main part of the refining processes;
- last stage refining, handling of primary nickel;
- alloy production, melting and foundry techniques;
- alloy production, powder metallurgy;
- batteries, nickel metal as feedstock;
- batteries, unknown type of nickel species as feedstock;
- nickel catalysts, nickel metal as feedstock;
- nickel catalyst, unknown type of nickel species as feedstock;
- nickel in the production of chemicals;
- contact with coins;
- contact with tools and other nickel releasing surfaces;
- use of batteries; and
- use of catalysts.