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Development of a Personal Sampler for Evaluating Exposure to Ultrafine Particles

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Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 30-37
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2009.06.0040
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Masami Furuuchi 1, Thitiworn Choosong1, Mitsuhiko Hata1, Yoshio Otani1, Perapong Tekasakul2, Masami Takizawa1, Mizuki Nagura1

  • 1 Graduated School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 9201192, Japan
  • 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand


Evaluation of the exposure of humans to ultrafine, airborne particles is an important aspect of health in the workplace, especially in cases where nano-particles are present. However, portable sampling devices for efficiently collecting ultrafine particles in a worker’s breathing zone are not readily available. The present study describes the design and development of a portable sampler for collecting particulates in the breathing zone, as a possible tool for this purpose. The design is based on the use of an “Inertial Filter” to separate various-sized nano-order particles. Inertial filters consisting of SUS fiber felt (fiber diameter 5.6–13.5 μm) placed in circular nozzles (3–6 mm diameter with 4.5 mm length) were used. To achieve the smallest dp50 under the allowable pressure drop of a portable pump, the influence of fiber loading on separation performance and pressure drop were investigated. The influence of particle loading was also examined in relation to pressure drop and separation performance. The smallest dp50 under the allowable pressure drop (5.7 kPa at 6 L/min) for the battery pump employed was ~140 and 200 nm respectively for SUS fibers of 5.6 and 9.8 μm diameter (particle volume fraction ~0.013). The change in separation performance due to particle loading was confirmed to be acceptable for use under the present conditions. Under these conditions, a sufficient amount of particles can be collected for chemical analyses, e.g., particle-bound PAHs after 6–8 hours of sampling. Hence, the developed sampler has the potential for use in evaluating exposure to ultrafine particles in the breathing zone in the workplace.


Personal exposure Ultrafine particles Inertial filter Mass concentration

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