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Rapid Detection of Transition Metals in Welding Fumes Using Paper-Based Analytical Devices
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    24515892
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC3979282
  • Description:
    Metals in particulate matter (PM) are considered a driving factor for many pathologies. Despite the hazards associated with particulate metals, personal exposures for at-risk workers are rarely assessed due to the cost and effort associated with monitoring. As a result, routine exposure assessments are performed for only a small fraction of the exposed workforce. The objective of this research was to evaluate a relatively new technology, microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs), for measuring the metals content in welding fumes. Fumes from three common welding techniques (shielded metal arc, metal inert gas, and tungsten inert gas welding) were sampled in two welding shops. Concentrations of acid-extractable Fe, Cu, Ni, and Cr were measured and independently verified using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Results from the µPAD sensors agreed well with ICP-OES analysis; the two methods gave statistically similar results in >80% of the samples analyzed. Analytical costs for the µPAD technique were ~50 times lower than market-rate costs with ICP-OES. Further, the µPAD method was capable of providing same-day results (as opposed several weeks for ICP laboratory analysis). Results of this work suggest that µPAD sensors are a viable, yet inexpensive alternative to traditional analytic methods for transition metals in welding fume PM. These sensors have potential to enable substantially higher levels of hazard surveillance for a given resource cost, especially in resource-limited environments.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    ES019264/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    OH010050/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
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