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Dynamic Behavior of airborne particulate Aerosols:

Dispersion of solid or liquid particulates of microscopic size in a gaseous medium.

Basic Principles of behavior Particulate matter exhibit similar behavior
Dust particulate below 10 micron are of pathological concern Larger than 10 micron size particles are unlikely to remain suspended Industrial and mine dusts characteristically have a mean particle size in the

range 0.3-5 microns

Chemical activity increases with decreasing particle size Particles below 10 micron size have no inertia or weight and hence may remain suspended for indefinite time

Categories of dusts based on physiological effects

Fibrogenic dusts: Harmful to respiratory system

Examples in the order of decreasing harm

1. Silica (quartz, chert) 2. Silicates (Talc, asbestos, mica, silimanate) 3. Metal fumes 4. Beryllium ore 5. Tin ore 6. Iron ores 7. Carborundum 8. Coal

Carcinogenic dusts
Radon daughters


Toxic dusts
Toxic dusts (Poisonous to body organs) Many Ores including:

Beryllium Arsenic Lead Uranium Radium Thorium Chromium

vanadium mercury cadmium antimony selenium manganese

tungsten nickel silver

Radio active dusts

Injurious because of alpha and beta radiations Ores of:

Uranium, radium and thorium

Human Respiratory system

Respiratory system of a normal adult:
Typical individual at rest takes about 12-15 breaths per minute, but breathing rate can triple during hard work. At rest, 500-700 mL of air is inhaled and exhaled with each breath; there is about 1100 mL of reserve air in the lungs that is not exhaled during normal breathing Approx. 10-20 cubic meters (12-24 kg) air inhaled per day The gas exchange area of the lungs is approximately 30 sq. meters and is perfused with over 2000 km of capillaries

Human respiratory

Human respiratory

Upper Respiratory System: 1. Filters like hairs in the nasal passage (over 5-10 micron) 2. Mucous membrane lining the nose and throat 3. In the Trachea and bronchi: Hair like cilia (medium sized particles) sweeps particles upward with a vibratory motion into the throat

Lower Respiratory System:

Secondary line of defense against small particles (below 5 micron)

In alveoli, tiny, wandering, jelly like cells (phagocytes) envelop any foreign matter and move it to drainage vessels called lymphatic, in the walls of blood vessels in the bronchi. These vessels empty into lymph nodes, the sedimentation chamber of the body waste system.

Harmful effects on lungs

If exposure is prolong, the defense system breaks down, and pathological harm occurs. 1. In mild type, the functioning of lungs may be impaired by accumulation of dust laden cells as a soft deposit of pigment. 2. Further exposure, produces local inflammation and increased susceptibility to disease.

3. In worst case, dust with high surface activity, accumulates in the lymph nodes and lymph vessels in the lungs. A nodular type fibrosis results.
4. If left untreated, further damage is expected with following symptoms: Shortness of breath, labored breathing, chest pain, cough, loss of body strength, spitting blood

Affected lungs

Factors that determine dust harmfulness

Composition: Chemical, Mineralogical Concentration:

Number basis: millions of particles per cubic foot (mppcf) Particles per cubic centimeter (ppcf) 1mppcf = 35.3 ppcc Weight basis: milligrams per cubic meter or ounces or grains per cubic foot 1mg/m3 = 10-3 mg/L

Particle Size
Fine dusts most hazardous due to their surface area and chemical activity. Pulmonary damage is mainly caused by dusts having less than 5 microns size.

Mineralogical composition is more important than chemical and chemical composition is more important than physical in terms of causing physiological harm Exposure time Average time for development of silicosis is 20-30 years. However, combination of high dust and radon exposure may accelerate this time. Individual susceptibility It is an unknown quantity factor. Combination of other factors like cigarette smoking enhances the probability of contracting a respiratory disease.

Threshold Limit values

Threshold Limit Value-Time Weighted Average (TLA-TWA)
Concentration for a normal 8-hour shift or 40 hours work/week to which workers are exposed without any adverse effect.

Threshold Limit Value-Short Term Exposure Limit (TLV-STEL)

Concentration to which workers can be exposed for a period up to 15 minutes continuous without suffering: 1. Irritation 2. Chronic tissue change 3. Narcosis of sufficient degree to increase accident proneness, impair self-rescue, or mentally reduce efficiency. Provided no more than 4 exposures/day and with at least one hour between each exposure.

Threshold Limit-Ceiling (TLV-C)

Concentration that should not be exceeded even instantaneously

TLV-TWA for different dusts

Silica 1. Crystalline quartz: 300/%quartz + 10 mppcf

2. TLV-TWA for respirable dust in mg/cubic meter: 10/% respirable quartz + 2 3. TLV-TWA for total dust: 30/%quartz + 3

Silicates (less than 1%quartz): Asbestos: Mica: Portland Cement: Talc: Coal dust: 0.2-2 fibers/cc (greater than 5 microns) 20 mppcf 30 mppcf 20 mppcf 2 mg/cubic meter
(having less than 5% quartz)

TLV-TWA for metallic dusts (other than minerals)

Mercury 0.05 mg/m3


0.15 mg/m3
0.2 mg/m3

Iron, Zinc Radioactive compounds
Uranium Vanadium


0.2 0.5