Vit. artikkel

Publisert

  • 2024

Tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are used to excavate tunnels in a manner where the rock is constantly penetrated with rotating cutter heads. Fine particles of the rock minerals are thereby generated. Workers on and in the vicinity of the TBM are exposed to particulate matter (PM) consisting of bedrock minerals including α-quartz. Exposure to respirable α-quartz remains a concern because of the respiratory diseases associated with this exposure. The particle size distribution of PM and α-quartz is of special importance because of its influence on adverse health effects, monitoring and control strategies as well as accurate quantification of α-quartz concentrations. The major aim of our study was therefore to investigate the particle size distribution of airborne PM and α-quartz generated during tunnel excavation using TBMs in an area dominated by gneiss, a metamorphic type of rock. Sioutas cascade impactors were used to collect personal samples on 3 separate days. The impactor fractionates the dust in 5 size fractions, from 10 µm down to below 0.25 µm. The filters were weighted, and the α-quartz concentrations were quantified using X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and the NIOSH 7500 method on the 5 size fractions. Other minerals were determined using Rietveld refinement XRD analysis....

Annals of Work Exposures and Health
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