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Characterization of the Airborne Fibrous Component of Cotton-Related Dust in Textile Operations

D.P. Thibodeaux, H.H. Solhjoo, C.K. Bragg and P.J. Wakelyn


Sampling for airborne particulates was carried out in the vicinity (work area) of a card processing cotton. Sampling was carried out using both a standard vertical elutriator (VE) cotton dust sampler and a personal dust sampler. Filter samples were collected over a range of sampling times and were analyzed with a transmission light microscope attached to an image analysis system. The system was programmed to measure the number and size (area, length, breath, and aspect ratio) of respirable particulates collected on the filter surface. Special attention was given to the characterization of the fibrous-like components of the airborne dusts meeting the WHO definition of a fiber (length > 5µm with corresponding width < 3 µm and aspect ratio > 3:1). Preliminary results indicate: a) an absence of birefringent cellulosic-type particles (i.e., no cotton fiber fibrous fragments); b) the average size of dust sampled by the VE is somewhat larger than the dust sampled by the personal monitor; and c) despite large differences in sampling times, the personal monitor collects approximately the same concentration of fibrous particles (fibers per cm3 of air) as does the VE.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 210 - 213
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998