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A field test of a procedure for the identification of protein-bearing particles in grain elevator air.

Buchan RM; Kramer GD
Analytical Techniques in Occupational Health Chemistry: ACS Symp Ser 1980; 120:301-307
A method for determining particulate protein concentrations and size distributions in grain elevator (SIC-5153) atmospheres was assessed. Air samples were taken at four grain elevator work sites and one control site. Site 1 was located on the top floor of a rural grain elevator where grain was loaded in 24 storage bins, site 2 was located on the main work floor, site 3 was located on the bottom floor, site 4 was located on the main work floor of an adjacent manufacturing elevator, and site 5 was located approximately 250 yards upwind of the two grain elevators. Samples collected were strained for protein by a particle straining procedure. Estimates of the geometric mean diameter, standard deviation, and percentage of the distribution composed of respirable (less than 10 micrometers) particulates were calculated from a regression equation. The geometric mean diameter was not significantly different for protein bearing particles between the sister elevator and control sites. The geometric standard deviation was also not significantly different for the protein bearing or total dusts between the elevator and control sites. The fraction of the dust distribution composed of respirable particles did differ between the elevator and control sites for both protein bearing and total particles. The concentrations of both protein bearing and total dust are markedly higher at the elevator sites than at the control site. The percent of the concentrations composed of protein bearing particles ranged from 35.0 to 44.7 percent at the elevator sites and 6.1 percent at the control site. The authors suggest that the method can be used to investigate the correlation between protein bearing dust exposures and pulmonary disorders in grain handlers.
NIOSH-Grant; Analytical-models; Workers; Air-monitoring; Dust-exposure; Quantitative-analysis; Analytical-methods; Workplace-studies; Air-contamination; Proteins; Particulate-dust
Microbiology Colorado State University Department of Microbiology Fort Collins, Colo 80523
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Analytical Techniques in Occupational Health Chemistry, ACS Symposium Series
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Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division