Controlling flour dust exposure by an intervention focused on working methods in Finnish bakeries: a case study in two bakeries

Antti Karjalainen, Maija Leppänen, Joonas Ruokolainen, Marko Hyttinen, Mirella Miettinen, Arto Säämänen, Pertti Pasanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of intervention strategies to control mass concentrations and peak exposures of flour dust in two Finnish bakeries. The effect of the intervention on the proportion of various particle size fractions of the total particulate matter was also investigated. Methods. Mass concentrations of flour dust were measured during three working days in a pre-intervention and post-intervention study in both an industrial and a traditional bakery. Gravimetric sampling and real-time measurements were performed. Relevant intervention strategies focused on working methods were planned in collaboration with the managers of the bakeries. Results. The average mass concentration of inhalable flour dust reduced in most of the stationary locations post intervention. The reductions in exposure levels were between 39 and 45%. However, the exposure levels increased 28–55% in the breathing zone. Real-time measurements showed reductions in the peak mass concentrations in the traditional bakery post intervention. In both bakeries, the total particulate matter size fraction consisted predominantly of particles with an aerodynamic diameter lower than 1 µm and greater than 10 µm. Conclusion. Further studies are needed to plan more effective intervention measures supplemented by technical control methods in both bakeries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1948-1957
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • baker
  • fine particles
  • indoor air quality
  • mass concentration
  • occupational

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