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A pilot study of personal exposure to respirable and inhalable dust during the sanding and sawing of medium density fibreboard (MDF) and soft wood

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A pilot study of production of respirable and inhalable dusts from sawing and sanding medium density fibreboard (MDF) and softwood in a typical cabinet-making workshop produced high but variable exposure levels at the bench and operator position. Exposure levels for the total inhalable fraction (∼ < 100 m) were 6.9 - 91 mg m − 3 for MDF and 2.5 - 45 mg m − 3 for softwood. For the respirable fraction ( < 10 m) levels were 0.4 - 13 mg m − 3 for MDF and 0.4 - 2.9 mg m − 3 for softwood. These results show significant dust loading is produced in the coarser fraction and that the material used has a significant impact on levels produced. It suggests that fuller evaluation of operator influence of fine dust production is needed and may question the common application of a single inhalable exposure standard for wood dust to all wood working scenarios.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering & Science University of Paisley Paisley PA1 2BE Renfrewshire UK

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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