Simulation of lead fume emissions in the workplace using computational fluid dynamics in the electronics industry


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a powerful method for predicting the release of pollutants in the workplace and has recently been used as a valuable tool by health authorities. The purpose of this study was to predict the distribution of lead fume in the workplace using computational fluid dynamics in the electronics manufacturing industry. A cross-sectional descriptive and analytical study was conducted in the Neyshabur electronics industry (2019). Individual exposure to lead fume was measured by the OSHA121 method. Simulation and prediction of lead fume emission in the workplace were done using computational fluid dynamics and by the ANSYS16 software. The mean of personal exposure to lead fumes was 0.04 ± 0.01 mg/m3. The software predicted the distribution of lead fumes in the respiratory zone of the worker to be in the range of 0.04 to 0.07 mg/m3, which is very close to the real values. By doubling the suction power of the topical ventilation used, workers’ exposure to lead fumes was nearly halved and reached well below the recommended limit. The results showed that CFD is a useful tool for simulating individual contact with pollutants in a geometry. Also, given that the CFD shows the diffusion and distribution of pollutants in all points of a geometry, it is useful to indicate critical locations and conditions.

Authors: Somayeh Rahimi Moghadam, Mahmoud Mohammadyan, Amin Markani, Narges Khanjani, Mahdi Jalali
; Full Source: Environmental science and pollution research international. 2020 Jun 16. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-09566-7. Online ahead of print.