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Evaluation of the respicon as a personal inhalable sampler in industrial environments

Evaluation of the respicon as a personal inhalable sampler in industrial environments

Journal of Environmental Monitoring 4(5): 657-662

The Respicon has been introduced as a sampler for health related measurements of airborne contaminants at workplaces. The instrument is aimed at simultaneous collection of three health related aerosol fractions: (a) the coarser inhalable fraction, defining the aerosol fraction that may enter the nose and mouth during breathing; (b) the intermediate thoracic fraction, defining the fraction that may penetrate beyond the larynx and so reach the lung; and (c) the finer respirable fraction, defining the fraction that may penetrate to gas exchange region of the lung. The instrument has a number of features attractive to occupational hygienists: in addition to providing the three aerosol fractions simultaneously, it is light and compact enough to be used as a personal sampler. yet can be a tripod mounted for area sampling, it can provide samples not only for gravimetric analysis but also microscopic and chemical analyses; and it is also available in a photometric direct-reading version. The instrument has previously been evaluated as an area sampler and, in this mode of operation, has shown reasonable accuracy in collecting respirable, thoracic and inhalable particles, the latter up to particle diameters of ca. 80 microm. Except for some scattered unpublished data there exist no systematic investigations in the Respicon's performance when used as a personal sampler in the industrial environment. In this paper, we will report on a study of side by side comparison of the Respicon with the IOM inhalable sampler, regarded as a reference instrument for the inhalable fraction. The main study was performed at six different workplaces in a nickel refinery. Statistical analysis of the gravimetrically-determined concentration data reveals consistently lower aerosol exposure values for the Respicon as compared to the IOM sampler. The data for the nickel workplaces are compared with findings from other studies. The results are interpreted in the light of the overall results and the possibility of introducing a correction factor is discussed.

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Accession: 046016429

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PMID: 12400910

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