LCS laboratory offers air sampling pumps, cassettes, cyclones, and cassette holders for sampling of respirable fraction of airborne dust. Respirable particulate fraction is that fraction of inhaled airborne particles that can penetrate beyond the terminal bronchioles into the gas-exchange region of the lungs. According to international convention, the respirable fraction of dust contains particles smaller than 10 micron, with the mass median diameter of 4 microns.
Any air sampler, which is designed to collect the respirable fraction of the dust (respirable dust), contains two essential components: separator of the coarse dust, and pre- weighed filter to collect the respirable fraction. Two standard techniques are currently available:
- North American school of air sampling relies on using of miniature cyclones for dust separation. The methods are based on NIOSH 0600 method with modifications in regards of the model of cyclone used.
- European school allows use of cyclones or foam pre-filters to separate large particles. All techniques are described in UK method MDHS 14/4.
LCS Laboratory offers laboratory testing by both NIOSH 0600 and MDHS 14/4 methods. Below we offer brief list of advantages and limitations of each method.
- Dorr-Oliver Nylon Cyclone. The cyclone must be operated at 1.7 L/min. This was the first air sampling cyclone specifically designed for personal sampling. It is specified in the NIOSH 0600 method. Samples collected with this cyclone are considered by many as a “golden standard”. The cyclone is recommended for longer sampling in dusty environment.
- Aluminum cyclone. Normal operation flow rate is 2.5 L/min. After being on the market for 20+ years, the Aluminum cyclone became a common sampling device where larger volume of air are needed. The cyclone is listed in NIOSH 0600 method. The sampler is best suited for silica sampling, when the results must be compared with ACGIH guidelines. We do not recommend to use Aluminum cyclones, in the areas with dust level above 3 mg/m³ (welding fume, cement dust, grain dust). If this is your first project dealing with Respirable Dust, exposure, please check our step-by-step sampling procedure.
- BGI GK 2.69 is the fastest personal cyclone we can offer. It normal operation rate is 4.1 L/min, which makes it best suitable for short sampling like STEL or Ceiling. Not all personal pumps can operate at such high flow. Please be sure that you checked you pump. You can always call us to order a “high” flow pump with a cyclone for your project. It is listed in MDHS 14/4, but remains mostly unknown to Industrial Hygiene community.
Collection of respirable dust on Inhalable samples with foam pre-filter is little known in North America. This method is a standard one as described in MDHS 14/4. Recommended flow rate is 2 L/min. In terms of sensitivity the method is similar to sampling with Nylon Cyclone. The biggest advantage of the method is a possibility to measure both Respirable and Inhalable fractions of the dust on the same sample.
If you need to collect the respirable dust samples, please email our lab. We have all equipment in stock.