Monitoring real-time aerosol distribution in the breathing zone
Monitoring real-time aerosol distribution in the breathing zone A prototype air sampling, data recording, and data retrieval system was developed for monitoring aerosol concentrations in a worker's breathing zone. Three continuous-reading, light-scattering aerosol monitors and a tape recorder were incorporated into a specially designed and fabricated backpack for detailed field monitoring of both temporal and spatial variability in aerosol concentrations within the breathing zone. The backpack was worn by workers in a beryllium refinery. The aerosol which passed through each monitor was collected on a back-up filter for later chemical analysis for Be and Cu. The aerosol concentrations were recorded on magnetic tape as a function of time. The recorded signals were subsequently transcribed onto a strip chart recorder, then evaluated using a microcomputer with graphics capability. Field measurements made of the aerosol concentration at the forehead, nose, and lapel of operators during the melting and casting of beryllium-copper alloy demonstrated that there is considerable variability in concentration at different locations within the breathing zone. They also showed that operations resulting in worker exposure can be identified, and the precise time and duration of exposure can be determined.
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