13/03/2009

Measuring Exposure to Welding Aerosol with a Headset-Mounted Mini Sampler

There is a need for a small personal aerosol sampler for measuring occupational
exposure to airborne particles in the breathing zone. Existing aerosol samplers
are too large to be mounted inside modern welder's protective equipment without
disturbing the worker. A headset-mounted mini sampler has been developed to
fill this gap with focus on manganese exposure. This mini sampler is easy to
use and can be mounted inside modern, slimline welder's face shield. The mini
sampler is based on a commercially available 13-mm filter holder that has been
modified to incorporate an inlet nozzle made of aluminium. The nominal flow
rate of the mini sampler is 0.75 l min-1.

The mini sampler is to be worn mounted on a headset, modified from professional
microphone headsets. Several aspects related to using the mini sampler have
been tested by personal and static sampling at five workplaces and in the
laboratory. The headset-mounted mini sampler is user-friendly, easy to adjust
individually, does not disturb the welder during sampling and allows sampling
inside personal protective equipment. The headset mounting arrangement improves
personal sampling as it maintains the sampler close to the nose/mouth during
the whole sampling period. This study shows that the developed headset-mounted
mini sampler is suitable for assessing exposure to manganese in welding
aerosol.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene