The Annals of occupational hygiene

Applications of low-cost, dual-fraction dust samplers.

PMID 11137697


Porous polyurethane foams provide a low-cost method for separating dust into health-related fractions in accordance with recognized sampling conventions. A number of dust sampling instruments that make use of foam selectors have been described in recent literature, but practical experiences of using these instruments in real workplaces have not been widely reported. An IOM inhalable dust sampler incorporating a respirable-fraction selector foam was evaluated in a range of industries, for general occupational dust monitoring. The key issues addressed were those that determine the practicability of the instrument, such as limitations on particulate loading, losses or movements of particles during transportation of samples, and equivalence with conventional respirable dust sampling methods. The new sampler was found to be satisfactory in all these respects. The minor problems experienced have been addressed during the design of the production version of the foam cassette, which is available as an accessory for the existing IOM inhalable dust sampler. The key advantage of the new dust sampler is that it measures both inhalable and respirable dust concentrations in a single sample (hence the name: dual-fraction dust sampler). Therefore, it saves both time and money in industries where both inhalable and respirable dust are routinely monitored.

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