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Peak exposure concentrations of dust and flour aeroallergen in flour mills and bakeries.
Nieuwenhuijsen MJ; Sandiford CP; Lowson D; Tee RD; Venables KM; Newman Taylor AJ
Ann Occup Hyg 1995 Apr; 39(2):193-201
A study of job activities producing high levels of dust and flour aeroallergens in British flour mills and bakeries was performed. The study sites consisted of three large modern bakeries, one flour mill with a flour packing station, and a flour packing station. Eleven jobs in each flour mill and packing station and 15 in each bakery expected to produce dust and aeroallergen exposures greater than the shift means were identified. Personal air sampling for total dust and aeroallergens were performed on workers involved in these jobs. The frequency of occurrence and duration of these job activities were estimated. A total of 209 dust samples were collected. The highest total dust concentrations, geometric mean (GM) concentrations greater than 30mg/m3, were measured during cleaning operations, especially dust collector, spillage and chokes, flour tanker, and maintenance cleaning in the flour mills and packing stations as well as bins and flour silo cleaning in the bakeries. Excluding spill cleanups, the scheduled activities were performed at frequencies of 8 times per shift to once a month and typically required 5 minutes to 4 hours. Exposure to flour aeroallergens generally followed a pattern similar to that seen for dust exposures, the highest exposures again being associated with cleaning operations. The GM aeroallergen concentrations ranged up to 3,807.9mg/m3 and appeared to increase linearly with the GM total dust concentrations. The authors conclude that the highest exposures to dust and aeroallergens are associated with cleaning operations.
Grain-dusts; Occupational-exposure; Bakery-workers; Industrial-hygiene; Foodstuff; Job-analysis; Allergens; Epidemiology; Dust-exposure; Bronchial-asthma
Issue of Publication
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division