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Characterization of particulate size fractions in small-size machine shops.

Sieber-WK; Piacitelli-GM; Hughes-RT; Glaser-RA; Catalano-JD; Kent-M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :54
In an attempt to characterize the range of worker exposure to metalworking fluids (MWFs), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is conducting industrial hygiene surveys of 80 small business machining shops. Full-shift samples of inhalable particulate and thoracic particulate are being collected in each shop. Both the total particulate and MWF-specific components are being measured in each sample. Results from each sample were compared in an attempt to characterize the relationship between the thoracic and inhalable particulate fractions. Preliminary results from 39 field visits indicate that, for 112 paired personal samples for which total particulate concentration was determined using both thoracic and inhalable fraction samplers, the mean ratio of the thoracic fraction concentration to that obtained for the inhalable fraction was 0.7. Values of the ratio varied between 0.3 and 2.1. Sampling variability may account for ratios greater than 1. When MWF-specific components were considered, the mean thoracic to inhalable ratio was 0.8, with values between 0.2 and 2.8. Similarly, for 34 paired area samples, the mean ratio of the thoracic to inhalable total particulate fractions was 0.7, with values of the ratio varying between 0.2 and 1.5. When MWF-specific components were considered, the mean was .8, with values varying between 0.2 and 1.6. The thoracic and inhalable fractions correspond to different particulate size fractions to which employees working with MWFs may be exposed. Since it has been suggested that health effects associated with exposure to MWFs may be related to particulate size, a knowledge of the ratio between the size fractions may be helpful in assessing MWF exposure for occupational studies.
Metalworking; Metalworking-fluids; Metalworking-industry; Machine-shop-workers; Machine-tools; Small-businesses; Industrial-hygiene; Sampling; Particulate-sampling-methods; Particulates; Inhalants; Thorax; Throat
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia