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Dust and flour aeroallergen exposure in flour mills and bakeries.
Nieuwenhuijsen MJ; Sandiford CP; Lowson D; Tee RD; Venables KM; McDonald JC; Newman-Taylor-AJ
Occup Environ Med 1994 Sep; 51(9):584-588
As part of a 7 year prospective longitudinal epidemiological study, measurements were taken of personal exposure to total dust and flour aeroallergen in several British flour mills and bakeries. A survey was made of three large modern British bakeries, three flour mills with flour packing stations, and a flour packing station, using a total of 495 samples in the study. Total dust measurements approximately followed a log normal distribution with 83.3% of the samples below 5mg/m3 and 6.5% above 10mg/m3. The highest dust concentrations in the bakeries were in dispensing and mixing areas and dough brakes in the confectionery area. Dusts were lowest in the bread wrapping and dispatch areas. Of the 495 dust samples, 488 were analyzed for flour aeroallergen. In general the highest and lowest mean concentrations were found in the same areas as those for total dust exposure, but with a smaller range. In the flour mills and packing stations the concentrations were higher with geometric means for total dust ranging from 0.5mg/m3 in the office up to 16.9mg/m3 for hygiene workers in an old mill. Flour aeroallergen concentrations ranged from 101.5 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3) for transport workers up to 1,728.2microg/m3 for hygiene workers. The authors note that the relation between total dust and flour aeroallergen concentrations varied for different areas and depended on the use of products other than flour.
Bakery-workers; Plant-dusts; Allergic-reactions; Airborne-dusts; Respiratory-system-disorders; Milling-industry; Skin-exposure; Dust-exposure; Occupational-exposure
Issue of Publication
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division