Exposure to Metalworking Fluids & Microbial Health Hazards

The industrial hygiene professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide consulting and testing services to prevent occupational hazards.
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Feb. 14, 2013 - PRLog -- Over one million workers in the United States work in machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming operations.  Many of these workers could potentially be exposed to microbial hazards in metalworking fluids (MWFs).

MWFs are used to reduce heat and friction and to remove metal particles in a number of industrial machining and grinding operations.  There are numerous MWF formulations, including water-based metalworking fluids.  Water-based metalworking fluids can support microbial growth, which could introduce biological contaminants into a worker’s environment.  

If these fluids are not properly maintained or changed frequently, contaminants may become established and grow exponentially.   Contaminants may include bacterial and fungal cells or cell components and their related biological byproducts such as endotoxins, exotoxins, and mycotoxins.

One of the most commonly isolated types of bacteria form MWFs is Pseudomonas.  Others types of bacteria that have been identified include the following, among others:
•   Klebsiella pneumoniae
•   Staphylococcus aureus
•   E. coli
•   Enterobacter
•   Citrobacter
•   Achromobacter
•   Proteus vulgaris

Fungal contamination is also a concern and may include the following among others:
•   Penicillium
•   Aspergillus
•   Fusarium

“Workers can be exposed by breathing bioaerosols generated in the machining process, or through skin contact when they handle parts, tools, and equipment covered with these fluids,” reported Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark (CSC), a leading industrial hygiene consulting firm.  “Occupational testing can identify and prevent situations that could otherwise put workers at risk.”  

CSC recently sponsored an educational video about MWFs and microbial hazards that can be seen at:

To learn more about testing for MWFs or other industrial hygiene and indoor air quality concerns, please visit Clark Seif Clark at http://www.csceng.com, email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118.  

About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues.  CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.
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Tags:Metalworking Fluids, MWF, Iaq, Industrial Hygiene, Health
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