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Zugasti A.,Instituto Nacional Of Seguridad Of Higiene En El Trabajo | Montes N.,Instituto Nacional Of Seguridad Of Higiene En El Trabajo | Rojo J.M.,Instituto Nacional Of Seguridad Of Higiene En El Trabajo | Quintana M.J.,Instituto Nacional Of Seguridad Of Higiene En El Trabajo
Journal of Environmental Monitoring | Year: 2012

Inhalable sampler efficiency depends on the aerodynamic size of the airborne particles to be sampled and the wind speed. The aim of this study was to compare the behaviour of three personal inhalable samplers for welding fumes generated by Manual Metal Arc (MMA) and Metal Active Gas (MAG) processes. The selected samplers were the ones available in Spain when the study began: IOM, PGP-GSP 3.5 (GSP) and Button. Sampling was carried out in a welding training center that provided a homogeneous workplace environment. The static sampling assembly used allowed the placement of 12 samplers and 2 cascade impactors simultaneously. 183 samples were collected throughout 2009 and 2010. The range of welding fumes' mass concentrations was from 2 mg m -3 to 5 mg m -3. The pooled variation coefficients for the three inhalable samplers were less than or equal to 3.0%. Welding particle size distribution was characterized by a bimodal log-normal distribution, with MMADs of 0.7 μm and 8.2 μm. For these welding aerosols, the Button and the GSP samplers showed a similar performance (P = 0.598). The mean mass concentration ratio was 1.00 ± 0.01. The IOM sampler showed a different performance (P < 0.001). The mean mass concentration ratios were 0.90 ± 0.01 for Button/IOM and 0.92 ± 0.02 for GSP/IOM. This information is useful to consider the measurements accomplished by the IOM, GSP or Button samplers together, in order to assess the exposure at workplaces over time or to study exposure levels in a specific industrial activity, as welding operations. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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