Total dust, respirable dust, and microflora toxin concentrations in Colorado corn storage facilities.
Todd-B; Sandfort-DR; Buchan-R
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2002 Jun; 17(6):411-415
To aid in the process of characterizing corn dust exposures on farms and in elevators in northeastern Colorado, several parameters were examined. Total dust and respirable dust samples were collected and evaluated. Potentially dangerous dust components evaluated were respirable silica, endotoxin, and mycotoxin levels. Many of the total dust samples (58%) would have exceeded 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) had sampling been conducted for 8 hours; on farms the operation takes between two and four hours. The same statement may be made for respirable dust samples collected for this project. Nearly 33 percent of the respirable dust samples collected would have exceeded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) TWA had sampling been conducted over an 8-hour period. Respirable silica standards were exceeded at 25 percent of the sampling locations. Presence of mycotoxins at all sites was confirmed by the use of ELISA kits. The most significant finding of this study was high levels of endotoxin at several of the sampling sites. Eighty-five percent of the sampling locations had endotoxin levels above 500 EU/m3. One location, Farm 4, had endotoxin levels of above 1.7 million EU/m3.
Dusts; Dust-particles; Respirable-dust; Toxins; Dust-exposure; Dust-sampling; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Silicates; Silica-dusts; Endotoxins; Agriculture; Agricultural-industry
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado