Comparative study of an inhalable and a total dust sampler for personal sampling of dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the gas and particulate phase
For many years the closed-face plastic cassette has been widely used for monitoring ‘total’ dust in working atmospheres. In the late 1980s a different personal sampler was developed at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh. This so-called IOM sampler was designed to meet the criteria for inhalable dust (EN 481). In this work, a comparison of the closed-face 25 mm Gelman total dust sampler and the IOM inhalable sampler was made for exposure measurements of dust and PAHs among workers in an electrode paste plant. The two samplers were modified in order to permit sampling of both particulate and gas-phase PAHs. Three groups with different tasks were examined. The particle size distribution was determined using personal inhalable dust spectrometers and the GRIMM particle counter. The results showed that higher concentrations of dust and particulate PAHs were measured with the IOM inhalable sampler than the Gelman total dust sampler and the difference between the samplers was significant. This is in agreement with previously reported studies. In some samples collected with the IOM sampler very large particles were observed. There was no significant difference between volatile PAHs measured with the two samplers. For semi-volatile PAHs a significant difference between the samplers was observed, which was ascribed to evaporation loss from the filters during storage.