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Issue 2, 2015
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An evaluation of the “GGP” personal samplers under semi-volatile aerosols: sampling losses and their implication on occupational risk assessment

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Abstract

Semi-volatile (SV) aerosols still represent an important challenge to occupational hygienists due to toxicological and sampling issues. Particularly problematic is the sampling of hazardous SV that are present in both particulate and vapour phases at a workplace. In this study we investigate the potential evaporation losses of SV aerosols when using off-line filter-adsorber personal samplers. Furthermore, we provide experimental data showing the extent of the evaporation loss that can bias the workplace risk assessment. An experimental apparatus consisting of an aerosol generator, a flow tube and an aerosol monitoring and sampling system was set up inside a temperature controlled chamber. Aerosols from three n-alkanes were generated, diluted with nitrogen and sampled using on-line and off-line filter-adsorber methods. Parallel measurements using the on-line and off-line methods were conducted to quantify the bias induced by filter sampling. Additionally, two mineral oils of different volatility were spiked on filters and monitored for evaporation depending on the samplers flow rate. No significant differences between the on-line and off-line methods were detected for the sum of particles and vapour. The filter-adsorber method however tended to underestimate up to 100% of the particle mass, especially for the more volatile compounds and lower concentrations. The off-line sampling method systematically returned lower particle and higher vapour values, an indication for particle evaporation losses. We conclude that using only filter sampling for the assessment of semi-volatiles may considerably underestimate the presence of the particulate phase due to evaporation. Thus, this underestimation can have a negative impact on the occupational risk assessment if the evaporated particle mass is no longer quantified.

Graphical abstract: An evaluation of the “GGP” personal samplers under semi-volatile aerosols: sampling losses and their implication on occupational risk assessment

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Aug 2014, accepted on 10 Oct 2014 and first published on 13 Oct 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00468J
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015,17, 270-277
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    An evaluation of the “GGP” personal samplers under semi-volatile aerosols: sampling losses and their implication on occupational risk assessment

    G. C. Dragan, D. Breuer, M. Blaskowitz, E. Karg, J. Schnelle-Kreis, J. M. Arteaga-Salas, H. Nordsieck and R. Zimmermann, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, 17, 270
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00468J

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