The World Health Organization (WHO) has now confirmed that ultra-fine particles (UFP) have a significant impact on our health due to their ability to penetrate deep into our lungs. The particle research community and industry has been aware of the health affects associated with ultra-fine particle exposure for some time now and many organizations have been making changes and or implementing monitoring systems and or programs to measure and control ultra-fine particle exposure.
It’s been happening with diesel particulates in the mining and transport industry for many years and this is spreading across other industries (hospitals, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, industrial) and other areas as companies endeavor to protect their workers. Let’s face it, ultra-fine particles are present in both indoor and outdoor environments, however in some areas people are exposed to abnormally high levels of them and some of those aerosols you don’t want to be inhaling.
In terms of monitoring them, your average optical particle counter and or dust monitor cannot properly measure ultra-fine particles due to their small size typically down to a few nanometers. Measuring particles down to tens of nanometers or lower typically requires more specialized equipment. Many of these specialized instruments are not designed to run continuously and or report data back to data collection websites and or systems. Some instruments require constant refilling of alcohol and or constant maintenance which makes them impractical.
German particle instrument manufacturer PALAS has recently released their new AQ-Guard Smart 2000 which is designed for continuous ultra-fine particle monitoring from 10nm to 1,000nm. This can be mounted indoors or outdoors in any industry and it can be connected to BMS, EMS, SCADA or other systems for immediate continuous monitoring. PALAS are even giving away 2 years of FREE web based data collection for systems purchased up until June 30th.
The unit even reports the LDSA (lung deposited surface area) of which more organizations are asking about. It requires NO working fluids and little to no maintenance. These are also quite affordable when compared to many alternative monitoring methods. In summary, you cant hope to control what you cant measure and many industries (indoor and outdoor) have large amounts of ultra-fine particles present which are being generated by processes or other conditions. One fixed continuous monitor in place and you can now measure these and know where you stand.
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