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API 26-60118 1972

API 26-60118 1972-MAY-01 OIL MIST: EVALUATION OF SAMPLING PROCEDURES

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INTRODUCTION

In the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienist's (ACGIH) documentation of Threhold Limit Values (TLV) a value of 5 mg/m3 is recommended for "Oil mist (mineral)". The material is defined as "air-borne of petroleum-base cutting oils or white mineral petroleum oil".

The TLV Committee based its recommendation primarily on the work of Wagner et.al. During this study, animals exposed to white mineral oil mist concentrations of 5 milligrams per cubic meter for six hours per day for one year showed no adverse effect from the exposures. Exposures of 100 milligrams per cubic meter produced some slight changes in some of the animals, however no significant histological changes were noted and respiratory functions were unchanged. A second study with sulfurized solvent-refined naphthenic base stocks produced no measureable change after six hours daily exposure to 50 milligrams per cubic meter for eighteen months.

As a result of these studies, the TLV Committee concluded that "the 5 milligram per cubic meter limit would appear to contain a factor of safety of at least ten against even relatively minor changes in the lungs and is recommended as an index of good industrial practice rather than prevention of injury".

Recentstudies, indicate that a TLV of 5 mg/m3 is very conservative and if this concentration is not exceeded, there should be no effect on the employee's health and very subjective employee complaints should be minimal.

The 1971 ACGIH TLV list suggests a value of 5 mg/m3 for "Oil mist particulate" as sampled by method that does not collect vapor. "Oil mist vapor" is considered in the same category as "gasoline and Petroleum distillates" and has not been assigned a recommended TLV.

Therefore, it is necessary, in order to properly evaluate an oil mist exposure, to differentiate between its particulate and vapor components. In addition to the mist/vapor problem, this publication gives consideration to respirable mist and its relationship to the total concentration of oil mist.