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Microbial Pathogens and Contaminants Identified from Metalworking Fluids

EMSL Analytical offers microbial testing services to identify fungi, bacteria, and microbial toxins from metalworking fluids.


Cinnaminson, NJ, December 7, 2012
Exposure to metalworking fluids (WMFs) has long been known to have potential health consequences. Over one million workers in positions involving machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming operations could potentially be exposed to MWFs doing their jobs. Workers can be exposed to breathing aerosols generated in the machining process, or through skin contact when they handle parts, tools, and equipment covered with the fluids. 
Water-based metalworking fluids can support microbial growth, which could also introduce biological contaminants to a worker’s environment. If these fluids are not properly maintained or changed frequently, contaminants may become established and grow exponentially.   
These contaminants can include bacterial and fungal cells or cell components and their related biological byproducts which could include endotoxins, exotoxins, and mycotoxins.  One of the most commonly isolated types of bacteria in WMFs is Pseudomonas. Others types of bacteria that have been identified include            Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Achromobacter, Proteus vulgaris, and others.  Fungal contamination is also a concern and may include Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Fusarium, among others.
One company that has been on the forefront of identifying microbial contaminants and toxins in metalworking fluids is EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Metalworking fluids are an essential component to many industrial processes,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To prevent illness, proactive sampling of MWFs can identify contaminants. Air sampling around workers can also identify if people are at risk of breathing these materials. EMSL’s scientists can quickly and accurately identify areas of concern.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about metalworking fluids and microbial hazards that can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for MWFs or other environmental and health & safety issues, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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