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Metalworking fluid exposures in small machine shops: an overview.
Piacitelli GM; Sieber WK; O'Brien DM; Hughes RT; Glaser RA; Catalano JD
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2001 May/Jun; 62(3):356-370
Sampling was conducted in 79 small machine shops to assess airborne exposures to metalworking fluids (MWFs). Measured exposures were compared with data from the literature and exposure criteria currently recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration MWF Standards Advisory Committee. Sixty-two percent of 942 personal samples collected were less than the recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.50 mg/m3 for total particulate. However, at least 1 sample exceeded the REL in 61 of the 79 facilities studied; 100% of the samples collected in 10 shops were greater than the REL. Similar trends were found for thoracic particulate exposures where 75% of 238 samples were below the thoracic particulate REL of 0.40 mg/m3. The ratio between thoracic and total particulate for 238 paired samples was 0.55 (r2=0.73). Workers exposed to straight fluids had the highest exposures (GM=0.67 mg/m3) when compared with workers exposed to other classes of MWFs. The highest exposures were measured for grinding and hobbing (GM=0.67 and 0.60 mg/m3, respectively). Measurements using personal impactors indicated that particle size distributions of MWF aerosols had an average mass median aerodynamic diameter of 5.3 microm. Straight oils and soluble fluids tended to be associated with larger particles than were other fluid types; grinding and turning produced the largest particles, whereas hobbing resulted in the smallest. In general, exposures were similar in magnitude and particle size to those previously reported in large automotive plants. Therefore, workers in these small shops may have risks of adverse health effects similar to those demonstrated in the automotive industry.
Machine-operation; Metalworking; Oil-mists; Sampling; Fluids; Exposure-levels; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: machine shops; machining; metalworking fluids; oil mists; particle-size distributions; thoracic particulate
Greg M. Piacitelli, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: July 16, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division