Objectives: The purpose of the present investigation was to establish a method for the determination of airborne respirable non-fibrous silicon carbide (SiC). The main application is within the industrial production of SiC. Methods: Due to the complex airborne aerosol mixture of crystalline compounds in the SiC industry, X-ray powder diffractometry was selected as the most appropriate method. Without any international standard material for the respirable fraction of non-fibrous SiC, pure and suitable products from three SiC plants in Norway were selected. These products have a median particle diameter in the range 4.4–5.1 μm. The method is based on thin sample technique, with the dust deposited on a polycarbonate filter. Absorption correction is done by standard procedures with the use of a silver filter, situated below the polycarbonate filter. Results: The diffraction line used for quantitative determination was selected carefully. This was done to avoid interferences from quartz, cristobalite, and graphite, which all are airborne components present in the atmosphere during the industrial process. The instrumental limit of detection for the method is 12 μg. Conclusions: This method has been used to determine airborne non-fibrous SiC in a comprehensive ongoing project in the Norwegian SiC industry for further epidemiological studies. The...

Bye, Erik; Føreland, Solveig; Lundgren, Lennart; Kruse, Kristian; Rønning, Ragnhild
Annals of Occupational Hygiene 53(4): 403–408
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