Nanometer particle size distributions were measured in booths with two different ventilation patterns in an occupational environment with welding operations underway. The measurements were used to illustrate the impact of change of ventilation methods (existing — with ventilation ducts located at the top, modified — with ventilation ducts located below the weld bench) on the aerosol size distributions at different locations: close to the weld, in the vicinity of the welder’s face, and in the exhaust duct. Particle number concentrations measured in the vicinity of the welder’s face (mask) during a horizontal standard arc welding process in a booth with ventilation at the top was in the range of 7.78×105 particles cm−3 with a geometric mean size of 181 nm and geometric standard deviation of 1.8. This reduced to 1.48×104 particles cm−3 in the vicinity of the welder’s face with the modified ventilation system. The clearance of the welding aerosol was also faster in the modified booth (6 min compared to 11 min in a conventional booth). Particles were collected in the booth for the various test conditions, and analyzed to determine their composition and morphology. The particles were composed of hazardous heavy metals such as manganese, chromium and nickel, and had varying morphologies.
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- Reduction of nanoparticle exposure to welding aerosols by modification of the ventilation system in a workplace
William J. McClellan
- Springer Netherlands
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