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The effect of worker's location, orientation, and activity on exposure.

Lee E; Feigley CE; Khan J; Hussey JR
J Occup Environ Hyg 2007 Aug; 4(8):572-582
The impact of a worker's location, orientation, and activity was studied in an experimental room (2.86 m x 2.35 m x 2.86 m) at known flow rates of 5.5 m(3)/min and 3.3 m(3)/min. A person in the room, wearing a full-facepiece, air-supplied respirator represented a worker. Propylene tracer gas was emitted at a constant rate from a 1-m pedestal at the center of the room and a continuous air sample was drawn from a point midway between the worker's mouth and nose. Breathing zone concentration (BZC) was monitored at 12 worker locations within the room for a stationary, worker. At each location, BZCs were measured separately for four worker orientations: east, west, south, and north. BZCs of a walking worker were also monitored along the path defined by the 12 worker locations used in the stationary experiments. In a separate set. Of experiments, area concentration was monitored to see whether the worker's activity disturbed the contaminant concentrations at a fixed sampling point located behind the source looking from the direction of air inlet (location: 1.34 m, 1.20 m, 0.45 m). The, following average differences in BZC over the 12 fixed locations were observed: 43% higher for near-field than for far-field locations; 20% higher when the worker was facing the source than when facing away (p-values for all four conditions: < 0.033), and 30% higher for a moving worker than for a stationary worker (p-values for all four conditions: < 0.01). When the worker was walking, the concentration tit the fixed area sampling point was generally lower than the area concentration when the worker was absent or stationary in the room, possibly due to greater mixing of room air by the worker's movement. Because a worker's activities may be irregular and complicated, incorporating them as parameters in mathematical models is often not feasible. Instead, these findings may be used to assess uncertainty or adjust exposure estimates from simple models.
Air-monitoring; Air-purifying-respirators; Air-quality-control; Air-quality-measurement; Air-quality-monitoring; Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Work-environment; Work-performance; Work-areas; Workplace-studies; Breathing-zone; Breathing-atmospheres; Breathing; Mathematical-models; Analytical-methods; Analytical-models; Analytical-processes; Analytical-Method
Eungyoung Lee, NIOSH, CDC, Health Effects Laboratory Division, Exposure Assessment Branch, 1095 Willowadale Rd,M-S 3030, Morgantown, WV 26505
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Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
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University of South Carolina at Columbia, Columbia, South Carolina
Page last reviewed: August 12, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division