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Physicochemical properties important in exposure characterisation of four different welding aerosols were investigated. Particle number size distributions were determined by scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), mass size distributions by separation and weighing the individual size fractions of an 11-stage cascade impactor. The size distribution of the primary particles of agglomerates, chemical composition and morphology of the particles were examined by TEM. There were significant differences in the particle number size distributions of the different welding aerosols according to the SMPS determinations. The particle mass size distributions determined gravimetrically were, however, not really different. The dominant range with respect to mass was between 0.1 and 1 μm, regardless of the welding technique. Most of the primary particles in all different welding aerosols had diameters between 5 and 40 nm. All types of primary particles had a tendency to form chainlike agglomerates. A clear size dependence of the particle chemical composition was encountered in the case of manual metal arc welding aerosol. Small particles with diameters below 50 nm were mostly metal oxides in contrast to larger particles which also contained more volatile elements (e.g. potassium, fluorine, sodium, sulphur).
National Institute of Occupational Health, P.O. Box 8149 Dep., 0033, Oslo, Norway, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry
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