Inhalable dust emission in hazelnuts mechanical harvesting (Corylus avellana L.): test of a low impact suction-type pneumatic collector
Fedrizzi, M.; Pagano, M.; Perrino, C.; Cecchini, M.; Guerrieri, M.; Gallo, P.; Biocca, M.
International Conference RAGUSA SHWA 2012, September 3-6, 2012, Ragusa – Italy “Safety Health and Welfare in Agriculture and in Agro-food Systems”
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The paper will point out the possibility of reducing easily the quantity of inhalable dust emitted
into the atmosphere during hazelnuts mechanical harvesting by the use of an innovative device,
installed on a self-propelled suction-type pneumatic collector. The paper reports the results of
preliminary tests carried out in Italy.
The tests of hazelnuts mechanical harvesting were prepared using two self-propelled suctiontype
pneumatic harvesting having the same technical characteristics; only one of these was
equipped with a new electro-hydraulic device, designed in order to facilitate the reducing of
inhalable dust emitted into the atmosphere.
The effectiveness was measured both in ambient air and close to the machine driver. The dust
samples were analyzed for the mass concentration and chemical composition of inorganic species
(elements analyzed by X-rays fluorescence and ions analyzed by ion chromatography).
The results showed that the dust concentration significantly decreases when the new device has
been used; the reduction of dust emission has exceeded 70% in environmental sampling and
60% in personal sampling, in comparison with the other machine without the device. The
chemical analysis of the sampled particulates revealed the presence of soil components and small
amounts of ionic species.
The remaining fraction is to be attributed to organic species.
Since a satisfactory general dust reduction has been obtained, it is expected that further
research will be conducted including the determination of the level of free crystalline silica
(SLC) in the areosol, which can be a high risk factor both for the operators and for the