Comparison of the SidePak personal monitor with the Aerosol Particle Sizer (APS)

A. Sanchez Jimenez, M. van Tongeren, Karen S Galea, K. Steinsvag, L. MacCalman, John W Cherrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to compare the performance of the TSI Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS) and the TSI portable photometer SidePak to measure airborne oil mist particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameters below 10 mum, 2.5 mum and 1 mum (PM(10), PM(2.5) and PM(1)). Three SidePaks each fitted with either a PM(10), PM(2.5) or a PM(1) impactor and an APS were run side by side in a controlled chamber. Oil mist from two different mineral oils and two different drilling fluid systems commonly used in offshore drilling technologies were generated using a nebulizer. Compared to the APS, the SidePaks overestimated the concentration of PM(10) and PM(2.5) by one order of magnitude and PM(1) concentrations by two orders of magnitude after exposure to oil mist for 3.3-6.5 min at concentrations ranging from 0.003 to 18.1 mg m(-3) for PM(10), 0.002 to 3.96 mg m(-3) for PM(2.5) and 0.001 to 0.418 mg m(-3) for PM(1) (as measured by the APS). In a second experiment a SidePak monitor previously exposed to oil mist overestimated PM(10) concentrations by 27% compared to measurements from another SidePak never exposed to oil mist. This could be a result of condensation of oil mist droplets in the optical system of the SidePak. The SidePak is a very useful instrument for personal monitoring in occupational hygiene due to its light weight and quiet pump. However, it may not be suitable for the measurement of particle concentrations from oil mist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1841-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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