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Publications (2)4.31 Total impact

  • Sally Spankie, John W Cherrie
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    ABSTRACT: Airborne grain dust is a complex mixture of fragments of organic material from grain, plus mineral matter from soil, and possible insect, fungal, or bacterial contamination or their toxic products, such as endotoxin. In the 1990s, grain workers in Britain were frequently exposed to inhalable dust >10 mg.m(-3) (8 h), with particularly high exposures being found at terminals where grain was imported or exported and in drying operations (personal exposure typically approximately 20 mg.m(-3)). Since then, the industry has made substantial progress in improving the control of airborne dust through better-designed processes, increased automation, and an improved focus on product quality. We have used information from the published scientific literature and a small survey of industry representatives to estimate current exposure levels. These data suggest that current long-term exposure to inhalable dust for most workers is on average less than approximately 3 mg.m(-3), with perhaps 15-20% of individual personal exposures being >10 mg.m(-3). There are no published data from Britain on short-term exposure during cleaning and other tasks. We have estimated average levels for a range of tasks and judge that the highest levels, for example during some cleaning activities and certain process tasks such as loading and packing, are probably approximately10 mg.m(-3). Endotoxin levels were judged likely to be <10⁴ EU m(-3) throughout the industry provided inhalable dust levels are <10 mg.m(-3). There are no published exposure data on mycotoxin, respirable crystalline silica, and mite contamination but these are not considered to present widespread problems in the British industry. Further research should be carried out to confirm these findings.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 01/2012; 56(1):25-36. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Advanced REACH Tool (ART) is an exposure assessment tool that combines mechanistically modelled inhalation exposure estimates with available exposure data using a Bayesian approach. The mechanistic model is based on nine independent principal modifying factors (MF). One of these MF is the substance emission potential, which addresses the intrinsic substance properties as determinants of the emission from a source. This paper describes the current knowledge and evidence on intrinsic characteristics of solids and liquids that determine the potential for their release into workplace air. The principal factor determining the release of aerosols from handling or processing powdered, granular, or pelletized materials is the dustiness of the material, as well as the weight fraction of the substance of interest in the powder and the moisture content. The partial vapour pressure is the main intrinsic factor determining the substance emission potential for emission of vapours. For generation of mist, the substance emission potential is determined by the viscosity of the liquid as well as the weight fraction of the substance of interest in the liquid. Within ART release of vapours is considered for substances with a partial vapour pressure at the process temperature of 10 Pa or more, while mist formation is considered for substances with a vapour pressure ≤ 10 Pa. Relative multipliers are assigned for most of the intrinsic factors, with the exception of the weight fraction and the vapour pressure, which is applied as a continuous variable in the estimation of the substance emission potential. Currently, estimation of substance emission potential is not available for fumes, fibres, and gases. The substance emission potential takes account of the latest thinking on emissions of dusts, mists, and vapours and in our view provides a good balance between theory and pragmatism. Expanding the knowledge base on substance emission potential will improve the predictive power of occupational exposure models and thereby the accuracy and precision of the exposure estimates.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 11/2011; 55(9):980-8. · 2.16 Impact Factor