Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- In Puerto Rico and throughout the United States, over one million workers are employed in machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming operations. Many of these workers utilize metalworking fluids (MWFs) and could potentially be exposed to microbial hazards in these liquids and in the air they breathe.
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. When 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.
Pseudomonas is one of the most commonly isolated types of bacteria form MWFs. Others types of bacteria that have been frequently identified include:
- Klebsiella pneumoniae
- Staphylococcus aureus
- E. coli
- Proteus vulgaris
Fungal contamination is also a concern and may include the following:
“Employees involved with MWFs can be exposed by breathing aerosols generated during the machining process, or through skin contact when they handle parts, tools and equipment,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “At Zimmetry, we help to identify exposure risks through comprehensive air and fluid testing to help ensure workers are not at risk. These services also help companies comply with health and safety regulations and avoid costly noncompliance violations.”
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their occupational, industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.