Generally, the SKC conductive black plastic sampler is oversampled ( The protection of workers from exposure to respirable dust–containing crystalline silica is an area of concern for occupational hygienists in many countries, as large numbers of workers are potentially at risk from disease.
Silicosis is the oldest known occupational disease caused by long-term exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS).
‘Respirable’ refers to the dust fraction with an aerodynamic median diameter of 4.3 µm, as stated in the NEN-EN 481 (1994).
Therefore, harmful dusts such as crystalline silica (commonly found in the forms of α-quartz and α-cristobalite) causes damage to the lungs.This damage occurs in the form of nodular silicosis or fibrosis (IARC, 1997).The Belgian government has set the maximum exposure level to 3mg m³ for respirable cristobalite (UGA, 2011), all for an 8-h time weighted average.To assess the exposure to respirable dust, occupational hygienists use samplers that separate respirable particles from the larger non-respirable (e.g.The divergent sampling techniques for respirable dust and the analyses for crystalline silica are an important area of interest and discussion among industrial occupational hygienists in Europe.
The variety of equipment for air sampling, methods and instrumentation can cause differences between results for the analysis of respirable crystalline silica (RCS).In this study, a Workplace Atmosphere Multi-sampler (WAM), developed by Adhesia, was used to compare respirable dust samplers in the workplace.This rotating device enables the comparison of 12 samplers in a workplace in each run.Seven laboratories participated in the comparison, using six different respirable dust samplers [British Cast Iron Research Association (BCIRA) to the Higgins Dewell (HD) design, Dorr Oliver, Casella SIMPEDS, SKC HD with a polycarbonate filter and polyvinylchloride filter, and the CIP10-R).Each laboratory analysed samples supplied by the samplers and reported the total respirable dust concentration and the RCS concentration.The techniques used were X-ray diffraction direct-on-filter, X-ray diffraction with deposition, infrared direct-on-filter, and infrared with potassium bromide (KBr) discs.