OPEN ACCESS

Articles online

Characterization and Exposure Assessment of Odor Emissions from Laser Cutting of Plastics in the Optical Film Industry

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Volume: 16 | Issue: 9 | Pages: 2216-2226
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.04.0136
PDF

Export Citation:  RIS | BibTeX

Yun-Jung Chan1, Tzu-Hsuen Yuan2, Hui-Chu Sun1, Ta-Chang Lin 1

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
  • 2 Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan

Highlights

First study investigating odorous gas from laser cutting process in high-tech site.
The amount of air pollutants increased when laser cutting power increased.
Thirteen carbonyls and three phenols identified as the major odor sources.
Laser cutter workers had higher carbonyls and phenols exposure than other workers.
Formaldehyde exposure for laser cutter workers exceeded PEL-STEL.


Abstract

The introduction of lasers as a cutting tool has become an important step in achieving further cost reductions in the multi-functional optical film industry. However, the fumes produced during laser cutting causes an annoying and often unbearable odor in the working environment. To date, little research has been reported in terms of the worker exposure assessment and odorous substances generated in the process of cutting plastics with lasers. This study firstly investigated the worker exposure assessment and the protection efficiency of the carbonyls and phenols when a laser is used to cut polycarbonate (PC) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the primary base materials used in optical film industry. Results indicate that the concentrations of these substances increased with the power of the laser. Due to differences in the monomer structures of these materials, a 240 W laser produced a high concentration of phenols (1.56 mg m–3) from PC and a high concentration of carbonyls (20.3 mg m–3) from PET. Without adequate protection and within a one-meter distance, laser cutting PET at the 240 W power level would expose machine operators to 2.74 mg m–3 of formaldehyde, which exceeds the regulatory standard of 2.4 mg m–3. An N95 valved active carbon respirator can effectively reduce this concentration to 0.07 mg m–3. However, the result of the masks studies could only reduce concentrations to between 1.88 mg m–3 and 2.2 mg m–3, which barely meet the related regulatory standards. In contrast, the installation of local ventilation alone can effectively remove as much as 99% of the gaseous substances produced in the laser cutting of plastics.

Keywords

Laser cutting Plastic Carbonyls Phenols Protections


Related Article

Global Research Trends in Health Effects of Volatile Organic Compounds during the Last 16 Years: A Bibliometric Analysis

Shumin Cheng, Jiale Zhang, Yujing Wang, Daqing Zhang, Guopeng Teng, Guo-Ping Chang-Chien, Qianli Huang , Yu-Bo Zhang , Ping Yan
Article In Press
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.06.0327
PDF

Seasonal Variation, Source Apportionment and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in PM2.5 in Ningbo, China

Yue Wu, Beibei Lu, Xinlei Zhu, Aihong Wang, Meng Yang, Shaohua Gu, Xiaoxia Wang, Pengbo Leng, Kristina M. Zierold, Xiaohai Li, Ke Kerri Tang, Lanyun Fang, Ruixue Huang, Guozhang Xu , Lv Chen
Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.12.0452
PDF

Effects of Ambient PM2.5 Collected Using Cyclonic Separator from Asian Cities on Human Airway Epithelial Cells

Pratiti H. Chowdhury, Akiko Honda , Sho Ito, Hitoshi Okano, Toshinori Onishi, Makoto Higashihara, Tomoaki Okuda, Toshio Tanaka, Seitarou Hirai, Hirohisa Takano
Article In Press
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.01.0016
PDF
;