Particle Size Distribution and Human Respiratory Deposition of Trace Metals in Indoor Work Environments

Roland Akselsson, Georges G. Desaedeleer, Thomas B Johansson, John W. Winchester

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Respiratory response to inhalation of fine particles has been investigated for the aerosol generated by welding. Particles were sampled using a pair of 5-stage cascade impactors operating at 1 l./min flow rate. The subject exhaled into one impactor through an air ballast arrangement, and the other impactor simultaneously sampled the surrounding air. Particle size fractions were analyzed for principal elemental constituents from sulphur to lead using proton induced X-ray emission, PIXE. The results indicated a complex respiratory response, including both increase in particle size due to exposure to high humidity in the respiratory tract and deposition of particles during inhalation. The response was found to be different for the element group Mn, Cr, Fe, Ni compared to the group K, Ca, Ti by observing the associations among the elements as a function of particle size in the inhaled and exhaled aerosol. However, for respiratory deposition efficiency alone in all runs averaged together, no systematic differences between the different elements are demonstrated at the 99 % confidence level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-238
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1976

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007), Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (013078001), Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology (011025002), The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) (011026001)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • lung deposition
  • welding aerosols
  • particle size distribution
  • elemental composition


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