Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.P.H.

Degree Granting Department

Environmental and Occupational Health

Major Professor

Steve Mlynarek, Ph.D.

Keywords

Dust, Silica, NIOSH methods, Aerosol chamber, Particulate matter

Abstract

This project resulted from an alleged dust problem affecting the residents in a Florida community. The residents claimed that there were elevated dust levels caused by a rock quarry adjacent to their homes. The purpose of this work was to assess total particulate, respirable particulate, and the coarse content of the sampled particles through traditional NIOSH methods, and using a new, real-time instrument known as the EPAM 5000. Data from the EPAM and NIOSH methods were compared to the EPA's particulate matter standards and the OSHA permissible exposure limits for total and respirable dust. Dust levels using the NIOSH methods were below the limit of detection. There were measurable dust levels in all three size fractions (PM10, PM[subscript 2.5], PM1) for the EPAM. Due to the undetectable levels of the NIOSH method sampling, further sampling in a laboratory environment was conducted in order to compare NIOSH methods with the EPAM 5000 method.

The project continued into an aerosol chamber in the USF College of Public Health Breath Lab for further data collection in order to compare results using traditional NIOSH methods with the results obtained from the EPAM 5000. The chamber was associated with a dust generator that released a steady flow of fly ash particulate at a specific revolution per minute (rpm). Each run of data collection sampled approximately 1 m³ of air and persisted for six to seven hours. Four separate runs were conducted, each at a different generation rate of fly ash. There were measurable dust levels using the NIOSH total dust and NIOSH respirable dust methods. There were also measurable dust levels in all three size fractions (PM10, PM[subscript 2.5], PM1) for the EPAM.

The results of all methods were compared. The PM[subscript 2.5] and PM1 sampling heads of the EPAM 5000 were compared to the NIOSH respirable dust sampling results. The PM10 sampling head of the EPAM was compared to the NIOSH total dust sampling results. NIOSH 0500 concentration results were within 10% of the EPAM PM10 concentration.

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