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Field Application of a Newly Developed Personal Nanoparticle Sampler to Selected Metalworking Operations

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Volume: 13 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 849-861
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2012.10.0270
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Li-Hao Young1, Yun-Hua Lin1, Tzu-Hsien Lin1, Perng-Jy Tsai 1, Ying-Fang Wang2, Shao-Ming Hung3, Chuen-Jinn Tsai3, Chun-Wan Chen4

  • 1 Department of Occupational Safety and Health, China Medical University, 91, Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, 138, Sheng-Li Rd., Tainan 70428, Taiwan
  • 3 Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Road, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan
  • 4 Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan, 99, Lane 407, Hengke Road, Shijr, Taipei 22143, Taiwan

Abstract

A personal nanoparticle sampler (PENS) that simultaneously collects respirable particles (< 4 μm) and nanoparticles (< 0.1 μm) has recently been developed and calibrated in the laboratory. This study aims to evaluate the performance of the PENS in the workplace, and to determine the exposure characteristics during selected metalworking operations. Metal polishing/buffing, spot welding, and milling operations were selected to represent sources of solid metal particles, fume aggregates and metalworking fluid mists, respectively. In each operation, personal samples of a side-by-side PENS and SKC respirable dust aluminum cyclone were taken concurrently with ambient particle number size distribution measurements. The PENS-measured respirable particle mass concentrations (PM4) showed remarkable accuracy with respect to the reference SKC cyclone, regardless of particle type. The PENS-derived nanoparticle effective densities agreed reasonably well with the bulk densities expected for the substrate and materials in use. During the metalworking operations, the nanoparticle mass concentrations (PM0.1) were poorly associated with the PM4 but strongly correlated with the ambient nanoparticle number concentrations (PN0.1), due to the persistent, elevated levels of nanoparticles formed during the operations. Overall, these results suggest that the PENS is applicable for use in the workplace to assess respirable and nanoparticle personal exposure, and that metal polishing/buffing, welding and milling generate a considerable amount of nanoparticles.

Keywords

Ultrafine particles Personal sampling Exposure assessment Metalworking


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