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Potential exposure to nano-objects in the work environment

Elżbieta J. Jankowska 

Central institute for labour protection national research institute (CIOP-PIB), Czerniakowska 16, Warszawa 00-701, Poland


Knowledge about the risks arising from exposure to nano-objects is still limited, mainly due to the small number of studies carried out in real exposure of workers to nano-objects and the lack of uniform rules to interpret the obtained results in order to assess exposure [Brouwer D and et al. Harmonization of measurement strategies for exposure to manufactured nano-objects; Report of a Workshop. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 2012;56(1):1–9. DOI 10.1093/annhyg/mer099]. German institutes [Tiered approach to an exposure measurement and assessment of nanoscale aerosols released from engineered nanomaterials in workplace operations (2011),] proposed a three-tiered approach to estimate the potential exposure to nano-objects and their aggregates and agglomerates, namely: Tier 1 - collecting information about workplace conditions for ruling out (conventional risk assessment) or confirming (go to the Tier 2) possibility of presence of nanoaerosol in the workplace air, Tier 2 - performing of measurements with easy to used device, and if total number concentration extending reference value for investigated nanoaerosol or is considerably higher compeer to "no activity", measurements should be taken for determination potential exposure to nanoaerosol according to Tier 3, if not risk assessment should be carried out on the basis of data received, Tier 3 - potential exposure to nanoaerosol must be conducted with use of new knowledge and of measuring devices, as condensation particle counter (CPC), scanning mobility particle sizer spectrometers (SMPS) and nanoparticle surface area monitor (NSAM). Simultaneously samples of nanoaerosol should be taking for their further analysis with TEM-EDS or SEM-EDS. The aim of the performed studies was to investigate of potential exposure to nano-objects during processes of production and handling of different kind of nanomaterials. Measurements were done with devices for real-time measurements of concentrations and size distributions of particles with SMPS, condensation particles counter (P-Trak)) nanoparticle aerosol monitor (Aero-Trak) and electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI+). For confirmation of presence of nano-object in the work environment air samples were taking with nanometer aerosol sampler (NAS) for future analysis with electron microscope (TEM or SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). For most investigated processes it was confirmed that nano-objects were released to the work environment.


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Presentation: Invited oral at Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair, by Elżbieta J. Jankowska
See On-line Journal of Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair

Submitted: 2013-06-29 01:48
Revised:   2013-06-29 07:25