Characteristics of Thermally Modified Hardwood Dust in Determining Workers’ Occupational Exposure
Keywords:Wood dust mass concentration, Gravimetric method, Photometric method, Correction factor, IOM / OF conversion factor, Respirable dust
Thermal modification of wood changes its mechanical properties, generally reducing its strength, such that it is more easily chipped during processing than untreated hardwood. This study presents specific parameters used in the determination of mass concentration of thermally modified (TM) hardwood by gravimetric and photometric methods. An optical device, the Split 2, was used in the active mode, of which the holder of the inhalable dust IOM (Institute of Occupational Medicine) filter was the input part. Side-by-side determination of the respirable and inhalable mass concentration was made using the Higgins-Dewell respirable dust cyclone and an inhalable dust IOM sampler. Side-by-side determination of inhalable and total dust mass concentration was made using an IOM and open-faced (OF) filter holder to establish an IOM / OF sampling ratio. A correction factor of 1.16 was calculated for applying the photometric method as the ratio of mass concentration determined by gravimetric and photometric methods. Minimal concentrations of respirable and inhalable wood dust (geometric mean: cr = 0.058 mg/m3; cinh = 0.882 mg/m3) and a 12.76% share of respirable dust in the inhalable concentration cr / cinh, had a significant influence on the efficiency of the photometric method. The mass concentration obtained by IOM and OF samplers did not significantly differ (p = 0.36).