Quartz measurement in coal dust with high-flow rate samplers: Laboratory study

Exposure Assessment Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division (HELD), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morgantown, WV 26505, USA.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.1). 12/2011; 56(4):413-25. DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/mer111
Source: PubMed


A laboratory study was performed to measure quartz in coal dust using high-flow rate samplers (CIP10-R, GK2.69 cyclone, and FSP10 cyclone) and low-flow rate samplers [10-mm nylon and Higgins-Dewell type (BGI4L) cyclones] and to determine whether an increased mass collection from high-flow rate samplers would affect the subsequent quartz measurement by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analytical procedures. Two different sizes of coal dusts, mass median aerodynamic diameter 4.48 μm (Coal Dust A) and 2.33 μm (Coal Dust B), were aerosolized in a calm air chamber. The mass of coal dust collected by the samplers was measured gravimetrically, while the mass of quartz collected by the samplers was determined by FTIR (NIOSH Manual of Analytical Method 7603) and XRD (NIOSH Manual of Analytical Method 7500) after one of two different indirect preparations. Comparisons between high-flow rate samplers and low-flow rate samplers were made by calculating mass concentration ratios of coal dusts, net mass ratios of coal dusts, and quartz net mass. Mass concentrations of coal dust from the FSP10 cyclone were significantly higher than those from other samplers and mass concentrations of coal dust from 10-mm nylon cyclone were significantly lower than those from other samplers, while the CIP10-R, GK2.69, and BGI4L samplers did not show significant difference in the comparison of mass concentration of coal dusts. The BGI4L cyclone showed larger mass concentration of ∼9% compared to the 10-mm nylon cyclone. All cyclones provided dust mass concentrations that can be used in complying with the International Standard Organization standard for the determination of respirable dust concentration. The amount of coal dust collected from the high-flow rate samplers was found to be higher with a factor of 2-8 compared to the low-flow rate samplers but not in direct proportion of increased flow rates. The high-flow rate samplers collected more quartz compared to low-flow rate samplers in the range of 2-10. There was no significant difference between the per cent (%) quartz in coal dust between the FTIR and XRD analyses. The findings of this study indicated that the increased mass of quartz collected with high-flow rate samplers would provide precise analytical results (i.e. significantly above the limit of detection and/or limit of quantification) compared to the mass collected with low-flow rate samplers, especially in environments with low concentrations of quartz or where short sampling times are desired.

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