This study was set out to characterize size distributions of oil mists in three workplace atmospheres of the forming, threading, and heat treatment in a fastener manufacturing industry and to assess their exposures to workers. Particle size segregating samplings were conducted on the workplace atmospheres of the three selected industrial processes by using the modified Marple 8-stage cascade impactor (m-Marple). We found that mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) of the fine mode and coarse mode fell to the range 0.309-0.501 μm and 8.16-13.0 μm, respectively. The fractions of inhaled particles exposed to different regions of the respiratory tracts found that the alveolar region was consistently higher than both head and tracheobronchial regions in all three studied exposure groups. Personal inhalable oil mist samplings were conducted on workers in the three selected processes revealed their exposure levels as: threading workers (2.11 mg/m3) > forming workers (1.58 mg/m3) > heat treatment workers (0.0801 mg/m3). The estimated respirable exposure concentrations for both forming and threading workers (1.34 mg/m3 and 1.40 mg/m3, respectively) were higher than the level known for "increased risk of pulmonary injury" (0.20 mg/m3) suggesting that appropriate control measures should be taken to reduce their exposures to the oil mists of the respirable fraction immediately.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis