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Evaluation of ventilated sanders in the autobody repair industry.

Heitbrink WA; Cooper TC; Edmonds MA
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1994 Aug; 55(8):756-759
The ability of ventilated sanding machines to control dust exposures in the autobody repair industry was evaluated as part of a study of controls for air contaminants in autobody shops. Ventilated sanders were straight line or rotating/orbital sanding machines equipped with high velocity low volume (HVLV) ventilation as part of the tool design. Air was exhausted to a central vacuum system through holes in the sander pads and sandpaper. The exhaust flow rates were measured in four straight line ventilated sanders. Short term breathing zone dust exposures were measured in three autobody repair shops that sanded with HVLV ventilated tools and in two shops that sanded without HVLV tools. Workers activities were videotaped and an aerosol photometer was used to monitor relative dust concentrations. The air flow rates of the four ventilated sanders averaged 0.51 to 0.54 cubic meter per minute. The short term breathing zone dust exposures occurring when these sanders were used were 0.22 to 1.2mg/m3 with an overall geometric mean (GM) of 0.53mg/m3. The short term breathing zone exposures measured in the shops when a straight line and two rotary sanders with HVLV ventilation were used were 2.0, 86, and 170mg/m3, respectively with a GM of 22mg/m3. The difference between the two GMs was statistically significant. The real time data indicated that the ventilated sanders controlled much of the airborne dust; however, two exposure peaks were seen when the worker brushed the surface of the car to inspect its surface smoothness because the worker's face was close to the surface at the time. The authors conclude that, in the autobody repair industry, ventilated sanders can produce significant decreases in work dust exposure. Ventilated sanders only cost about 20 to 40 dollars more than the same sander without HVLV ventilation.
NIOSH-Author; Automobile-repair-shops; Machine-tools; Dust-exposure; Hand-tools; Occupational-exposure; Air-flow; Industrial-hygiene; Work-analysis; Ventilation-systems; Equipment-design
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Journal Article
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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division