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A field evaluation of a single sampler for respirable and inhalable indium and dust measurements at an indium-tin oxide manufacturing facility
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  • Pubmed ID:
    30325716
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6419101
  • Description:
    Indium-tin oxide production has increased greatly in the last 20 years subsequent to increased global demand for touch screens and photovoltaics. Previous studies used measurements of indium in blood as an indicator of indium exposure and observed associations with adverse respiratory outcomes. However, correlations between measurements of blood indium and airborne respirable indium are inconsistent, in part because of the long half-life of indium in blood, but also because respirable indium measurements do not incorporate inhalable indium that can contribute to the observed biological burden. Information is lacking on relationships between respirable and inhalable indium exposure, which have implications for biological indicators like blood indium. The dual IOM sampler includes the foam disc insert and can simultaneously collect respirable and inhalable aerosol. Here, the field performance of the dual IOM sampler was evaluated by comparing performance with the respirable cyclone and traditional IOM for respirable and inhalable indium and dust exposure, respectively. Side-by-side area air samples were collected throughout an indium-tin oxide manufacturing facility. Cascade impactors were used to determine particle size distribution. Several statistical methods were used to evaluate the agreement between the pairs of samplers including calculating the concordance correlation coefficient and its accuracy and precision components. One-way ANOVA was used to evaluate the effect of dust concentration on sampler differences. Respirable indium measurements showed better agreement (concordance correlation coefficient: 0.932) compared to respirable dust measurements (concordance correlation coefficient: 0.777) with significant differences observed in respirable dust measurements. The dual IOM measurements had high agreement with the traditional IOM for inhalable indium (concordance correlation coefficient: 0.997) but lower agreement for inhalable dust (concordance correlation coefficient: 0.886 and accuracy: 0.896) with a significantly large mean bias (-146.9 µg/m|). Dust concentration significantly affected sampler measurements of inhalable dust and inhalable indium. Results from this study suggest that the dual IOM is a useful single sampler for simultaneous measurements of occupational exposure to respirable and inhalable indium.

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