IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Development of a procedure for evaluating the performance of filters used in ventilation systems and industrial vacuums to remove particles smaller than 300 nm in diameter

Abstract

On a mass-for-mass basis, certain ultrafine particles (UFPs) have higher toxicity than larger particles with the same chemical composition. To date, toxicological knowledge of ultrafine particles remains too limited to establish occupational exposure limits.

Filtration remains one of the most frequently used means of protection due to its simple implementation and its efficiency in capturing different-sized particles, including UFPs. However, the researchers observe a lack of knowledge concerning evaluation of the performance of general ventilation systems, local exhaust ventilation systems, and industrial vacuums in terms of UFP filtration.

The aim of this research project is therefore to develop a laboratory method for evaluating the performance of filters used in ventilation systems and industrial vacuums. This will make it possible to identify the expected performance ranges of the filters and ultimately to make recommendations to protect workers exposed to UFPs.