Comparative Emissions of Random Orbital Sanding between Conventional and Self-Generated Vacuum Systems

Conventional abrasive sanding generates high concentrations of particles. Depending on the substrate being abraded and exposure duration, overexposure to the particles can cause negative health effects ranging from respiratory irritation to cancer. The goal of this study was to understand the differences in particle emissions between a conventional random orbital sanding system and a self-generated vacuum random orbital sanding system with attached particle filtration bag. Particle concentrations were sampled for each system in a controlled test chamber for oak wood, chromate painted (hexavalent chromium) steel panels, and gel-coated (titanium dioxide) fiberglass panels using a Gesamtstaub-Probenahmesystem (GSP) sampler at three different locations adjacent to the sanding. Elevated concentrations were reported for all particles in the samples collected during conventional sanding. The geometric mean concentration ratios for the three substrates ranged from 320 to 4640 times greater for the conventional sanding system than the self-generated vacuum sanding system. The differences in the particle concentration generated by the two sanding systems were statistically significant with the two sample t-test (P < 0.0001) for all three substances. The data suggest that workers using conventional sanding systems could utilize the self-generated vacuum sanding system technology to potentially reduce exposure to particles and mitigate negative health effects.

Source : Liverseed, D.R., Logan, P.W., Johnson, C.E., Morey, S.Z., Raynor, P.C. Comparative Emissions of Random Orbital Sanding between Conventional and Self-Generated Vacuum Systems. Ann Occup Hyg (2013) 57(2): 221-229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mes066

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