Personal and area exposure assessment at a stainless steel fabrication facility: an evaluation of inhalable, time-resolved PM10, and bioavailable airborne metals

Ashley Newton, Karin Adams, Berrin Serdar, L. Miriam Dickinson, Kirsten Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study describes a comprehensive exposure assessment in a stainless steel welding facility, measuring personal inhalable PM and metals, time-resolved PM10 area metals, and the bioavailable fraction of area inhalable metals. Eighteen participants wore personal inhalable samplers for two, nonconsecutive shifts. Area inhalable samplers and a time-resolved PM10 X-ray fluorescence spectrometer were used in different work areas each sampling day. Inhalable and bioavailable metals were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Median exposures to chromium, nickel, and manganese across all measured shifts were 66 (range: 13–300) μg/m3, 29 (5.7–132) μg/m3, and 22 (1.5–119) μg/m3, respectively. Most exposure variation was seen between workers ((Formula presented.) although cobalt and inhalable PM showed most variation within workers. Manganese was the most bioavailable metal from the inhalable size fraction (16 ± 3%), and chromium and nickel were 1.2 ± 0.08% and 2.6 ± 1.2% bioavailable, respectively. This comprehensive approach to welding-fume exposure assessment can allow for targeted approaches to controlling exposures based not only on individual measurements, but also on metal-specific measures and assessments of bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-100
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental hygiene
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bioavailability
  • chromium
  • exposure
  • manganese
  • nickel
  • particulate matter
  • respiratory health
  • welding fumes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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