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Characterization of foundry particle sizes and selection of agents for workplace protection factor measurement.

Zhuang Z; Viscusi D; Jensen P; Berardinelli S; Coffey C; Hewett P
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :98
A recent study was conducted to investigate the effect of good- and poor-fitting half-mask, non-powered, air-purifying respirators on protection under actual workplace environments at a steel foundry. The purpose of this companion study was to characterize particle size distributions and elemental composition of exposures arising from two tasks at the steel foundry in order to determine what aspects were appropriate for use in measuring protection factors using half-mask elastomeric respirators. Eight personal impactor samples were collected on burners/welders (4) and chippers/grinders (4). Seventeen area impactor samples were collected near these workers. The personal impactor sample filters and ten area impactor sample filters were analyzed for chromium, copper, iron, and manganese by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) method. The other seven area impactor samples were analyzed for total mass by gravimetry. The particle size data for each task (by elements or by total mass) are generally well-fitted with two mode distribution models. The mean size for the first mode was about 0.5 um and it ranged from 7.3 to 12.6 um for the second mode. In general, the area under the curve for the first mode for burners was larger than that for chippers indicating burners were exposed to more smaller particles than chippers. Mean respirable fractions of 0.468 and 0.174 for iron were determined from the personal samples for the burners and chippers, respectively. The respirable fractions for personal samples were generally larger than those for area samples. The distributions for elemental iron and total mass were similar. The authors conclude that iron is an appropriate agent for measuring actual protection factors in foundry operations.
Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Work-environment; Air-purifiers; Air-purifying-respirators; Sampling; Filters; Gravimetry; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment
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Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
Performing Organization
West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division