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Workplace exposure to particulate matter, bio-accessible, and non-soluble metal compounds during hot work processes

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  • 2019

While exposure to air contaminants from metal arc welding at workplaces has been intensively investigated over the last five decades, other hot work processes, such as flame and plasma cutting, air carbon arc gouging, and surface grinding have not received as much attention. Exposures to particulate matter (PM) during selected hot work processes, such as metal active gas (MAG) and manual metal arc (MMA) welding, flame and plasma cutting, air carbon arc gouging, and surface grinding were measured. Respirable, inhalable, and “total” fractions of the PM were collected with different air samplers in the workers’ breathing zone. Concentrations of PM, chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), and lead (Pb) were determined in the samples by using gravimetric analysis and plasma-based analytical atomic spectrometry techniques. Bio-accessibility of the elements was investigated by using a synthetic lung lining fluid (Hatch´s solution) for the leaching of soluble metal compounds in the collected samples. Short term (15–75 min) workplace air concentrations of PM, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni and Cu in the workers´ breathing zone during hot work processes were found to be high compared to the current 8-hr time-weighted average (TWA) exposure limit values (ELVs) in use in many...

Berlinger, Balazs; Skogen, Ulf; Meijer, Conny; Thomassen, Yngvar
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 16(6): 378–386
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