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Ann Occup Hyg. 2003 Jul;47(5):413-26.

Comparison of two direct-reading instruments (FM-7400 and Fibrecheck FC-2) with phase contrast optical microscopy to measure the airborne fibre number concentration.

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Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Centre de Recherche, Avenue de Bourgogne, BP 27, 54501 Vandoeuvre, France.


The use of direct-reading instruments to measure the airborne fibre number concentration is on the increase. The response of two of these instruments (FM-7400 and Fibrecheck FC-2) was compared with the conventional method of sampling on filters and counting by phase contrast microscopy. Four types of fibres were studied at different concentrations and relative humidity levels. The FM-7400 can be calibrated by the manufacturer for two different levels of sensitivity (standard and high). For the tests where it was set to the sensitivity level with which it had been calibrated, the ratio of the concentration measured by the instrument to the concentration obtained by the conventional method varied in the range 0.5-1 for the different types of fibres studied (chrysotile, glass wool and ceramic fibres). The Fibrecheck FC-2 is a much less versatile instrument. On the basis of a calibration allowing correct detection of asbestos fibres, it greatly overestimated the concentration of man-made mineral fibres. In its normal calibration state a fine chrysotile aerosol was poorly detected. For man-made mineral fibres, the response was highly dependent on the nature of the fibres. These instruments require calibration with the type of fibres to be studied. Unfortunately, this operation is not always accessible to the user and may require the services of a specialized laboratory, as the manufacturer is not always in a position to carry this out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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