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Used ventilation filters: what is that smell?

Authors
Martin-S; Coffey-C; Lawrence-R; Calvert-C; Berardinelli-S; Jensen-P; Jones-W
Source
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :24
NIOSHTIC No.
20022363
Abstract
A strong odor from used ventilation filters was noticed during annual routine maintenance on the air-handling units at a research facility. Maintenance workers expressed concern of a potential health hazard resulting from direct contact with these filters. This concern prompted a thorough examination of the physical and chemical nature of the filters and collected particulate matter. An examination by light microscopy indicated a predominance of opaque small particles. Electron microscopy confirmed the small size of the captured particles, with the majority being in the submicrometer range. High magnification showed many of the particles to be agglomerations of smaller, roughly spherical subunits, consistent with combustion aerosol. Representative headspace samples of filter sections were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). Toluene, xylene, diethyl-benzenes, and 2-methyl furan were found on all samples. A sub-set of sampled yielded octanal, nonanal, undecane, hexanol, heptanal, dimethyl-benzene and benzaldehyde. Toluene was also confirmed in air samples collected upstream and downstream of the filter bank.
Keywords
Ventilation-systems; Filters; Hard-metals; Health-hazards; Particulates; Aerosols; Sampling; Air-samples; Workers
CAS No.
108-88-3; 1330-20-7; 25340-17-4
Publication Date
20020601
Document Type
Abstract
Fiscal Year
2002
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
NIOSH Division
DRDS; OD
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
State
WV; CA
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