Dust emission rates from food processing

Steven E. Lacey, Lorraine M. Conroy, Todd M. Schoonover, John E. Franke, Donald R. Hedeker, Linda S. Forst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A field study was performed to develop emission rates for dust exposure at a food processing facility. Eight 2-hour periods were monitored over 2 days. Area total suspended particulate samples were collected on 37 mm polyvinyl chloride filters with 5 μm pore size according to NIOSH Method 0500. Filters were analyzed gravimetrically. Ventilation and production activity data were collected during air sampling. Two mass balance models were used to calculate emission rates. The first was an experimental mass balance model, with the mass of contaminant generated determined by air flow and concentration measurements at room exit and entry points. The second treated the work environment as a completely mixed space, utilizing ventilation and area concentration measurements. Emission rates generated from mass balance models ranged from 2.09-542 mg/min for the various processing operations and food products. Process emission rates with production activity data allow estimation of dust exposure in similar facilities, and help direct development of exposure control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Emission rates
  • Exposure assessment modeling
  • Food dust
  • Food processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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  • Cite this

    Lacey, S. E., Conroy, L. M., Schoonover, T. M., Franke, J. E., Hedeker, D. R., & Forst, L. S. (2006). Dust emission rates from food processing. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 13(2), 251-257.