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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1996 Apr;57(4):356-64.

Local ventilation for powder handling--combination of local supply and exhaust air.

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VTT Manufacturing Technology, Safety Engineering, Tampere, Finland.


The performance of a modified local ventilation unit equipped with local supply and exhaust ventilation was evaluated during the manual handling of flour additive powder. The investigation tested five different configurations to study the effects of the exhaust opening location and local supply air on worker exposure. The measurements were done under controlled conditions in a test room. The breathing zone (BZ) dust concentration was measured by gravimetric sampling and real time monitoring. The different local ventilation configurations were also modeled numerically using computational fluid dynamics. Without local ventilation the average BZ dust concentration was 42 mg/m3. With local exhaust only the exposure was reduced below 1 mg/m3. The addition of local supply air further reduced the exposure to below 0.5 mg/m3. The lowest results were achieved by locating two exhaust openings on either side of the contaminant source combined with local supply air. With this configuration the average BZ exposure was only 0.08 mg/m3, a reduction of 99.8%. Numerical simulations also gave useful information about the airflow fields in stationary conditions. However, the worker's exposure was greatly affected by body movements, and this was not possible to simulate numerically. The results of this investigation can be useful when controlling dust exposure in manual powder handling operations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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