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  • 1.
    Pettersson-Strömbäck, Anita E
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Bergdahl, Ingvar A
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Järvholm, Bengt G
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    When and why do experts perform exposure measurements?: An exploratory study of safety engineers, work environment inspectors, and occupational hygienists.2006In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 3, no 12, p. 713-717Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to describe experts' decision processes leading to measurements of occupational chemical exposure. Safety engineers, clinical occupational hygienists, and work environment inspectors (four from each group) were interviewed according to a semistructured scheme. We analyzed: (i) perceived triggers for measurements, (ii) the experts' decision criteria for performing measurements when there was a trigger, and (iii) sampling strategy. Regarding triggers, all safety engineers reported a “request” from, for example, an employer; all work environment inspectors reported “legal demands;” and all clinical occupational hygienists reported “symptoms among workers.” As a decision criterion, all the interviewees reported that they measured only if they expected sufficiently high levels. The results of the present study highlight factors that trigger measurements and are of importance in determining whether measurements will be performed. These factors appear to be related to the expert's professional role and may bias the assessment of exposure. Thus, when using data from routine measurements done by experts, the possibility of a bias needs to be considered.

  • 2.
    Shirdel, Mariam
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Bergdahl A., Ingvar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Andersson, Britt M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Wingfors, Håkan
    Swedish Defence Research Agency, CBRN Defence & Security Division, Umeå, Sweden.
    Sommar, Johan N.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Liljelind, Ingrid E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Passive personal air sampling of dust in a working environment: A pilot study2019In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 16, no 10, p. 675-684Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to make a preliminary evaluation of the University of North Carolina passive aerosol sampler (UNC sampler) for personal air sampling of particles. Nine personal air samplings of respirable fraction were conducted in an open-pit mine, with pairwise UNC samplers and a respirable cyclone mounted on the chest of workers. UNC samples were analyzed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and to some extent energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Respirable cyclone filter samples were weighed. Correlations and particle elemental compositions were described. Microscopic imaging of the collection surface showed that the particles were heterogeneously deposited across the surface of the UNC sampler. Collected particles were shaped as gravel particles and the resulting particle size distribution in air showed a peak at ca. 3 µm aerodynamic diameter, similarly to what has previously been reported from the same mine. The elemental composition indicated mineral origin. All correlations between the airborne mass concentrations from UNC samplers and respirable cyclones (Pearson = 0.54 and Spearman = 0.43) and between pairs of parallel UNC samplers (Pearson = 0.55 and Spearman = 0.67) were weak. The UNC sampler mass concentrations were approximately 30 times higher than those measured with the respirable cyclone. In conclusion, the UNC sampler, when used for personal sampling in a mine, provides a reasonable particle size distribution and the deposited particles appeared to be of mineral origin and not from textile or skin but the approximately 30-fold overestimation of mass concentrations when comparing with respirable cyclone sampling indicates that further improvements are necessary. Positioning of the sampler may be critical and moving the UNC sampler from the chest to e.g. the top of a helmet might be an improvement. Grounding of the sampler in order to avoid static electricity might also be useful. The UNC sampler should continue to be researched for personal sampling, as passive sampling might become a useful alternative to more laborious sampling techniques.

  • 3.
    Shirdel, Mariam
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Sommar, Johan N.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Andersson, Britt M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Bergdahl, Ingvar A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wingfors, H
    Liljelind, Ingrid E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Choosing the number of images and image position when analysing the UNC Passive Aerosol Sampler for occupational exposure assessment2018In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 15, no 11, p. 767-772Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The University of North Carolina passive aerosol sampler (UNC sampler) could be an alternative when measuring occupational dust exposure, but the time required for microscopic imaging of the sampler needs to be reduced to make it more attractive. The aims of this study were to 1) characterise the effect on precision when reducing imaging, in order to shorten analysis time and 2) assess if the position of the images makes a difference. Eighty-eight samplers were deployed in different locations of an open pit mine. Sixty images were captured for each UNC sampler, covering 51% of its collection surface, using scanning electron microscopy. Bootstrapped samples were generated with different image combinations, to assess the within-sampler coefficient of variation (CVws) for different numbers of images. In addition, the particle concentration relative to the distance from the centre of the sampler was studied. Reducing the number of images collected from the UNC sampler led to up to 8.3% CVws for ten images when calculating respirable fraction. As the overall CV has previously been assessed to 36%, the additional contribution becomes minimal, increasing the overall CV to 37%. The mean concentrations of the images were modestly related to distance from the centre of the sampler. The CVws changed from 8.26% to 8.13% for ten images when applying rules for the image collection based on distance. Thus, the benefit of these rules on the precision is small and the images can therefore be chosen at random. In conclusion, reducing the number of images analysed from 60 to 10, corresponding to a reduction of the imaged sampling area from 51% to 8.5%, results in a negligible loss in precision for respirable fraction dust measurements in occupational environments.

  • 4.
    Westerlund, Jessica
    et al.
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Bryngelsson, Ing-Liss
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Löfstedt, Håkan
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Kåre
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Westberg, Håkan
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; Man-Technology-Environment Research Center (MTM), Department of Science, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Graff, Pål
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; Department of Chemical and Biological Work Environment, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway.
    Occupational exposure to trichloramine and trihalomethanes: adverse health effects among personnel in habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pools2019In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, ISSN 1545-9624, E-ISSN 1545-9632, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 78-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Personnel in swimming pool facilities typically experience ocular, nasal, and respiratory symptoms due to water chlorination and consequent exposure to disinfection by-products in the air. The aim of the study was to investigate exposure to trichloramine and trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform) from the perspective of adverse health effects on the personnel at Swedish habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pools. The study included ten habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pool facilities in nine Swedish cities. The study population comprised 24 exposed swimming pool workers and 50 unexposed office workers. Personal and stationary measurements of trichloramine and trihalomethanes in air were performed at all the facilities. Questionnaires were distributed to exposed workers and referents. Spirometry, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) were measured. Personal and stationary measurements yielded trichloramine levels of 1-76 µg/m3 (average: 19 µg/m3) and 1-140 µg/m3 (average: 23 µg/m3), respectively. A slightly higher, but not significant, prevalence of reported eye- and throat-related symptoms occurred among the exposed workers than among the referents. A significantly increased risk of at least one ocular symptom was attributed to trichloramine exposure above the median (20 µg/m3). Lung function (FVC and FEV1) was in the normal range according to the Swedish reference materials, and no significant change in lung function before and after shift could be established between the groups. Average FENO values were in the normal range in both groups, but the difference in the values between the exposed workers and referents showed a significant increase after shift. Hourly registered PEF values during the day of the investigation did not show any unusual individual variability. In conclusion, the increased risk of developing at least one ocular symptom at personal trichloramine concentrations over 20 µg/m3 combined with an increase in the difference in FENO during the work shift of the exposed workers should not be neglected as an increased risk of respiratory inflammation in the habilitation and rehabilitation swimming pool environment.

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