The Emission of Ultrafine Particles in the Manufacture of Fireplace Ceramic Tiles

The Emission of Ultrafine Particles in the Manufacture of Fireplace Ceramic Tiles

Karel Lach Ivona Smolová

Institute of Public Health Ostrava, Czech Republic

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Studies in the field of the adverse effect of inhaled particles show that not only particle mass is crucial but also particle size and specific surface are. The main objective of this study was to investigate and characterise ultrafine particle (UFP) emissions on workplace in the manufacture of ceramic tiles at two problematic places - at ceramic tiles kiln and spraying glazing suspension. The process of creating of glaze on the surface of stove tiles is performed at temperatures reaching up to 1,100oc. at this high temperature occurs fugitive emissions from glaze and ceramic consist of vapours and ufp containing various heavy metals such as Pb, Cr, Cu, Mo, Zr, etc. from glaze and ceramic, respectively. The data obtained from the measurements confirmed the significant emissions of UFP at the two chosen work- places, but the composition of particles, their size distribution and other parameters differed from one to another. in case of the workplace near the kiln, the following parameters were noted: total concentration of particles ranging from 5.6 nm to 560 nm is 2×105–4×105  n/cm3; median of size distribution is 37 nm, median of mass distribution is 153 nm, particle surface deposited in tracheobronchial (TB) part of lungs is 200 µm2/cm3, particle surface deposited in alveolar (a) part of lungs is 450 µm2/cm3 and the concentration of Pb is 3,744 µg/m3. in the case of the manual spraying of the glaze suspension on tiles, the following parameters were noted: total concentration of particles is 2×105  n/cm3; median of size distribution is 11 nm, median of mass distribution is 177 nm, particle surface deposited in Tb part of lungs is 50 µm2/cm3, particle surface deposited in a part of lungs is 170 µm2/cm3 and the concentration of PB is 1.9 µg/m3. it can be concluded from the data above that both the measured workplaces meet the permissible exposure limit for lead, which is 50 µg/m3. it is important to note that, in this study, the health impacts of ufp on staff and employees were not studied.


air emission, heavy metals, lead, pottery kiln emissions, scanning electron microscopy, size resolved sampling, solid aerosols, ultrafine particles.


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