The Use of Real-time Respirable Dust Monitors

In occupational health and safety, specialized sensors are used widely for exposure monitoring, emergency response, and safer worker-machine interfaces. The use of sensors for real-time respirable dust monitoring is an application with unique challenges; however the information from real-time respirable dust monitors can be used to quickly identify workplace tasks, during which the worker is exposed to higher than average concentration levels. These monitors can also help the hygienist assess the effectiveness of engineering control technologies and specific work practices. In the future, dust sensors might allow automatic adjustments of control technologies.

The first real-time dust monitors used in occupational environments were bulky and complicated to use, with limited capabilities. More recently, they have become small enough for personal monitoring, with advanced displays and software. As their popularity increases, it is important for the user to understand their strengths and limitations.

WHWB member Emanuele Cauda has posted an article describing the use of real-time respirable dust monitors on the NIOSH Science Blog. Interested members can access this article by following this link.

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