Assessment of occupational exposure to wood dust in the Polish furniture industry
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Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy / Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, Warszawa, Poland (Zakład Zagrożeń Chemicznych, Pyłowych i Biologicznych / Department of Chemical, Aerosol and Biological Hazards)
Online publication date: 2017-02-20
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Małgorzata Pośniak   

Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy, Zakład Zagrożeń Chemicznych, Pyłowych i Biologicznych, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa
Med Pr Work Health Saf. 2017;68(1):45-60
Background: Occupational exposure to wood dust can be responsible for many different harmful health effects, especially in workers employed in the wood industry. The assessment of wood dust adverse effects to humans, as well as the interpretation of its concentration measurements carried out to assess potential occupational exposure are very difficult. First of all, it is due to possible occurrence of different kind of wood dust in the workplace air, namely wood dust from dozens of species of trees belonging to 2 kinds of botanical gymnosperms and angiosperms, as well as to its different chemical composition. Material and Methods: Total dust and respirable wood dust in the workplace air in the furniture industry was determined using the filtration-gravimetric method in accordance with Polish Standards PN-Z-04030-05:1991 and PN-Z-04030-06:1991. Air samples were collected based on the principles of individual dosimetry. Results: Total dust concentrations were 0.84–13.92 mg/m3 and inhalable fraction concentrations, obtained after the conversion of total dust by applying a conversion factor of 1.59, were 1.34–22.13 mg/m3. Respirable fraction concentrations were 0.38–4.04 mg/m3, which makes approx. 25% of the inhalable fraction on average. The highest concentrations occurred in grinding and the lowest during milling processes of materials used in the manufacture of furniture. Conclusions: The results indicate that the share of respirable fraction in the inhalable fraction of wood dust is considerable. Due to the determination of the threshold limit value (TLV) for the inhalable fraction of wood dust, it is necessary to replace the previously used samplers for total dust with samplers that provide quantitative separation of wood dust inhalable fractions in accordance with the convention of this fraction as defined in PN-EN 481:1998. Med Pr 2017;68(1):45–60
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