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Evaluation of grinding aerosols in terms of alveolar dose: the significance of using mass, surface area and number metrics.

Maynard AD; Zimmer AT
Ann Occup Hyg, Inhaled Particles IX, 2002 Dec; 46(Suppl 1):315-319
Aerosols generated by mechanical means are generally assumed to have low particle number and surface area concentrations compared with mass concentration. As a result, they have received little attention in the current debate over the use of number- and surface area-based metrics for low-solubility particles. However, it is plausible that some high-energy mechanical processes found in workplaces may lead to the generation of tine aerosols that are characterized by high number and surface area concentrations. A preliminary investigation has been carried out into the aerosol generated during high-speed grinding to investigate the generation of tine particles from mechanical processes. Aerosol size distribution measurements between 5 nm and 20 microm were made during grinding on steel, aluminum, polytetrafluoroethylene, granite, ceramic tile and hardwood. Distributions were weighted by alveolar deposition probability to provide an indication of potential dose against metrics of number, surface area and volume. In all cases, the number-weighted size distributions showed most particles to lie in the ultratine particle range (diameter <100 nm). Surface area-weighted distributions show substrates susceptible to thermal aerosol formation to be dominated by ultratine particles. Weighting measurements by particle volume led to distributions dominated by particles >1 microm, although aluminum, hardwood and steel all show substantial volume-fractions in the ultratine region. There was evidence that the grinding tool contributed to the measured ultratine aerosol fraction. Further work is required to isolate particle sources during similar operations.
Aerosols; Exposure-levels; Surface-properties; Aluminum-compounds; Toxicology; Particulates; Particulate-dust; Author Keywords: grinding; ultrafine aerosol; exposure metrics
A. D. Maynard, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Ogden T; Donaldson K; Cherry N
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Inhaled Particles IX
Page last reviewed: August 6, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division