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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051411

Low-Cost, Distributed Environmental Monitors for Factory Worker Health

1
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
3
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Adelphi University, New York, NY 11530, USA
4
Department of Environmental Health & Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

An integrated network of environmental monitors was developed to continuously measure several airborne hazards in a manufacturing facility. The monitors integrated low-cost sensors to measure particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide, noise, temperature and humidity. The monitors were developed and tested in situ for three months in several overlapping deployments, before a full cohort of 40 was deployed in a heavy vehicle manufacturing facility for a year of data collection. The monitors collect data from each sensor and report them to a central database every 5 min. The work includes an experimental validation of the particle, gas and noise monitors. The R2 for the particle sensor ranges between 0.98 and 0.99 for particle mass densities up to 300 μg/m3. The R2 for the carbon monoxide sensor is 0.99 for concentrations up to 15 ppm. The R2 for the oxidizing gas sensor is 0.98 over the sensitive range from 20 to 180 ppb. The noise monitor is precise within 1% between 65 and 95 dBA. This work demonstrates the capability of distributed monitoring as a means to examine exposure variability in both space and time, building an important preliminary step towards a new approach for workplace hazard monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless sensor network; occupational health and safety; sensor arrays; particle sensors; carbon monoxide gas sensors; oxidizing gas sensors; noise sensors; occupational medicine; aerosol exposure; personal exposure wireless sensor network; occupational health and safety; sensor arrays; particle sensors; carbon monoxide gas sensors; oxidizing gas sensors; noise sensors; occupational medicine; aerosol exposure; personal exposure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Thomas, G.W.; Sousan, S.; Tatum, M.; Liu, X.; Zuidema, C.; Fitzpatrick, M.; Koehler, K.A.; Peters, T.M. Low-Cost, Distributed Environmental Monitors for Factory Worker Health. Sensors 2018, 18, 1411.

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