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Survey of airborne particulate matter concentration at a marble processing facility - workers’ exposure assessment

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Pages :
204 - 208

Diapouli E. Papamentzelopoulou A. Chaloulakou A.
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The scope of the present work was to examine exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) at a marble cutting and treatment facility. Measurements were conducted inside all sections of the facility, as well as at selected outdoor locations. PM10 concentrations were monitored continuously, with a 1-min time resolution, by the use of DustTrak (Model 8520, TSI, Inc.).

Mean PM10 concentration levels during cutting operations were measured equal to 997 μg m-3, when all machines were in use and 710 μg m-3, when only half of the machines were functioning. Higher levels were measured at the artistic department, where marble is cut and processed manually (mean PM10 concentration equal to 3,860 during a heavy cutting procedure and 1,000 μg m-3during a light duty period). When sampling was conducted next to the workers during the cutting process, mean personal exposure reached up to 63,000 μg m-3. The use of water during cutting operation was found to effectively decrease PM emissions. Significant concentrations were also measured at the different administrative offices. The highest levels (mean concentration equal to 220 μg m-3) were measured at the accounting office which is located at ground level, in close vicinity to the cutting section.