Evaluation of exposure to nano-sized particles among transport and vehicle service workers
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Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Physical Hazards)
Stella Bujak-Pietrek   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Physical Hazards, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-10-12
Med Pr 2021;72(5):489–500
Background: Exposure to fine and ultrafine particles from transport processes is a main consequence of emissions from engines, especially those with self-ignition. The particles released in these processes are a source of occupational and environmental particles exposure. The aim of this study was to assess the fine and nano-sized particles emission degree during work connected with transport and vehicle servicing. Material and Methods: The tests were carried out at 3 workplaces of vehicles service and maintenance (a car repair workshop, a truck service hall, and a bus depot) during 1 work day in each of them. Measurements were performed using the following devices: DISCmini meters, GRIMM 1.109 optical counter and the DustTrak monitor. The number, surface area and mass concentration, and the number size distribution were analyzed. Results: The mean number concentration (DISCmini) increased during the analyzed processes, ranging from 4×104 p/cm3 to 8×104 p/cm3, and the highest concentration was found in the car repair workshop. The particles mean diameters during the processes ranged 31–47 nm, depending on the process. An increase in the surface area concentration value was observed in correlation with the particles number, and its highest concentration (198 m2/cm3) was found during work in the car repair workshop. The number size distribution analysis (GRIMM 1.109) showed the maximum value of the number concentration for particles sized 60 nm. The mean mass concentrations increased during the tested processes by approx. 40–70%, as compared to the background. Conclusions: According to the measurement results, all the workplaces under study constituted a source of an increase in all analyzed parameters characterizing emissions of nano-sized particles. Such working environment conditions can be harmful to the exposed workers; therefore, at such workplaces solutions for minimizing workers’ exposure, such as fume hoods or respiratory protection, should be used. Med Pr. 2021;72(5):489–500