Characterizing Dust from Cutting Corian®, a Solid-Surface Composite Material, in a Laboratory Testing System

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We conducted a laboratory test to characterize dust from cutting Corian®, a solid-surface composite material, with a circular saw. Air samples were collected using filters and direct-reading instruments in an automatic laboratory testing system. The average mass concentrations of the total and respirable dusts from the filter samples were 4.78±0.01 and 1.52±0.01mg cm−3, respectively, suggesting about 31.8% mass of the airborne dust from cutting Corian® is respirable. Analysis of the metal elements on the filter samples reveals that aluminum hydroxide is likely the dominant component of the airborne dust from cutting Corian®, with the total airborne and respirable dusts containing 86.0±6.6 and 82.2±4.1% aluminum hydroxide, respectively. The results from the direct-reading instruments confirm that the airborne dust generated from cutting Corian® were mainly from the cutting process with very few particles released from the running circular saw alone. The number-based size distribution of the dusts from cutting Corian® had a peak for fine particles at 1.05 µm with an average total concentration of 871.9 particles cm−3, and another peak for ultrafine particles at 11.8nm with an average total concentration of 1.19×106 particles cm−3. The small size and high concentration of the ultrafine particles suggest additional investigation is needed to study their chemical composition and possible contribution to pulmonary effect.

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