Non-Toxic Particulate Masks: A Quantitative Evaluation of Their Effectiveness During Paint Spraying Operations Public Deposited

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  • February 27, 2019
  • Davis, David Sedgwick
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • It is commonly known that disposable dust masks offer a worker no protection from solvent vapors. However, they are frequently utilized during paint spraying operations. In one instance a workman wearing a disposable mask died from xylene poisoning while spray painting a boat outdoors. This study examined the possibility that the constant wetting of a dust mask during paint spraying may create an elevated solvent concentration in the breathing zone of a worker. Tests were conducted in a controlled laboratory system that determined simultaneous xylene concentrations in a mask and in the surrounding ambient air immediately following a paint spray of varying duration. Results consistently indicated a remarkably higher concentration inside the mask for the initial two minutes following the spray of paint. The theoretical dose was as much as 86% greater inside the mask as compared to outside the mask during those two minutes.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Leith, David
  • Stopford, Woodhall
  • Fraser, David A.
  • Master of Science in Public Health
Academic concentration
  • Industrial Hygiene
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 1986
Deposit record
  • 4229e0fb-b010-4ede-aa50-9d4a2f0726fb

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