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The Effectiveness of Handheld Ventilated Sanders in Reducing Inhalable Dust Concentrations

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Ventilated sanders are commonly used during aircraft surface abrasion but there is limited data on their effectiveness in reducing worker exposures. This study compared two handheld ventilated sander brands, DCM and Dynabrade, in a laboratory glovebox. Both sanders collect particulates by drawing air through holes in the sanding pads; the dust subsequently passes into a vacuum collection system. Aluminum panels coated with aircraft epoxy primer and polyurethane paint were abraded and inhalable dust concentrations were measured inside the glovebox with IOM samplers. The results indicate that both sanders effectively control inhalable dust, with the DCM sander reducing mass concentrations by 93 percent, and the Dynabrade by 98 percent, when the ventilation system is used. The Dynabrade unit, however, was more aggressive and produced over four times as much dust per unit time as the DCM unit. In spite of this, the Dynabrade sander adequately collected this additional dust. Varying abrasive grit size did not significantly affect dust generation, although the differences between the grit sizes used (180 and 240 grit) were not great and may have influenced the results.

Keywords: Abrasion; IOM Sampler; Inhalable Dust; Random Orbital Sander; Sanding; Ventilated Sander

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: 72nd Medical Group, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma 2: Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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