Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Short Communication
Gaseous Contaminant Distribution in the Breathing Zone
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2012 Volume 50 Issue 3 Pages 236-238


Conventionally, the “breathing zone” is defined as the zone within a 0.3 m (or 10 inches) radius of a worker’s nose and mouth, and it has been generally assumed that a contaminant in the breathing zone is homogeneous and its concentration is equivalent to the concentration inhaled by the worker. However, several studies have mentioned that the concentration is not uniform in the breathing zone when a worker is close to the contaminant source. In order to examine the spatial variability of contaminant concentrations in a worker’s breathing zone, comparative measurements of personal exposure were carried out in a laboratory. In experiment, ethanol vapor was released in front of a model worker (human subject and mockup mannequin) and the vapor concentrations were measured at two different sampling points, at the nose and at the chest, in the breathing zone. Then, the effects of the sampling location and the body temperature on the exposure were observed. The ratios of nose concentration to chest concentration for the human subject and the mannequin were 0–0.2 and 0.12, respectively. The exposure level of the mannequin was about 5.5–9.3 times higher than that of the human subject.

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© 2012 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
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