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Metals 2019, 9(2), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020163

Occupational Exposure to Fine Particles and Ultrafine Particles in a Steelmaking Foundry

1
Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
3
Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public Health, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
4
Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, I-03043 Cassino, Italy
5
International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 4001 Brisbane, Australia
6
Department of Engineering, University of Naples “Parthenope”, 80133 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ironmaking and Steelmaking)
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Abstract

Several studies have shown an increased mortality rate for different types of tumors, respiratory disease and cardiovascular morbidity associated with foundry work. Airborne particles were investigated in a steelmaking foundry using an electric low-pressure impactor (ELPI+™), a Philips Aerasense Nanotracer and traditional sampling equipment. Determination of metallic elements in the collected particles was carried out by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The median of ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration was between 4.91 × 103 and 2.33 × 105 part/cm3 (max. 9.48 × 106 part/cm3). Background levels ranged from 1.97 × 104 to 3.83 × 104 part/cm3. Alveolar and deposited tracheobronchial surface area doses ranged from 1.3 × 102 to 8.7 × 103 mm2, and 2.6 × 101 to 1.3 × 103 mm2, respectively. Resulting inhalable and respirable fraction and metallic elements were below limit values set by Italian legislation. A variable concentration of metallic elements was detected in the different fractions of UFPs in relation to the sampling site, the emission source and the size range. This data could be useful in order to increase the knowledge about occupational exposure to fine and ultrafine particles and to design studies aimed to investigate early biological effects associated with the exposure to particulate matter in the foundry industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrafine particles exposure; steelmaking factory; chemical composition ultrafine particles exposure; steelmaking factory; chemical composition
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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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Marcias, G.; Fostinelli, J.; Sanna, A.M.; Uras, M.; Catalani, S.; Pili, S.; Fabbri, D.; Pilia, I.; Meloni, F.; Lecca, L.I.; Madeo, E.; Massacci, G.; Stabile, L.; D’Aloja, E.; Buonanno, G.; De Palma, G.; Campagna, M. Occupational Exposure to Fine Particles and Ultrafine Particles in a Steelmaking Foundry. Metals 2019, 9, 163.

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