THE HEALTH & Safety Executive has developed a breath-test kit aimed at reducing site workers' exposure to solvents.
The device works in the manner of the police test for suspected drink- drivers and replaces the need for blood and urine samples.
It is part of a research study aimed at setting new guidance values for levels of exposure to solvents in the workplace.
The study is being run jointly by the HSE, the Trades Union Congress, Environment Agency and the Solvents Industry Association.
Dr John Cocker, head of research at the Health and Safety Laboratory, said: 'Even at lower levels of exposure many solvents can be irritating to the respiratory system.
'There is a clear need to control and monitor exposure.'
Peter Graham, head of the executive's health directorate, said: 'It is vital that businesses realise control can often be easy to implement.'