Exposure assessment is a key stage in the risk assessment/management of engineered nanomaterials. Although different sampling strategies and instruments have been used to define the occupational exposure to nano-scale materials, currently there is no international consensus regarding measurement strategy, metrics and limit values. In fact, the assessment of individual exposure to engineered nanomaterials remains a critical issue despite recent innovative developments in personal monitors and samplers. Hence, we used several of these instruments to evaluate the workers' personal exposure in a large research laboratory where engineered nanomaterials are produced, handled, and characterized in order to provide input data for nanomaterial exposure assessment strategies and future epidemiological studies. The results obtained using personal monitors showed that the workplace concentrations of engineered nanomaterials (lung deposited surface area and particle number concentrations) were quite low in all the different workplaces monitored, with short spikes during the execution of some specific job tasks. The sampling strategy was been adopted on the basis of an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggestion for a tiered approach and was found to be suitable for determining the individual exposure and for identifying possible sources of emission, even those with very low emission rates. The use of these instruments may lead to a significant improvement not only in the exposure assessment stage but, more generally, in the entire risk assessment and management process.

Assessment of occupational exposure to engineered nanomaterials in research laboratories using personal monitors

Iavicoli, Ivo
;
Fontana, Luca;
2018

Abstract

Exposure assessment is a key stage in the risk assessment/management of engineered nanomaterials. Although different sampling strategies and instruments have been used to define the occupational exposure to nano-scale materials, currently there is no international consensus regarding measurement strategy, metrics and limit values. In fact, the assessment of individual exposure to engineered nanomaterials remains a critical issue despite recent innovative developments in personal monitors and samplers. Hence, we used several of these instruments to evaluate the workers' personal exposure in a large research laboratory where engineered nanomaterials are produced, handled, and characterized in order to provide input data for nanomaterial exposure assessment strategies and future epidemiological studies. The results obtained using personal monitors showed that the workplace concentrations of engineered nanomaterials (lung deposited surface area and particle number concentrations) were quite low in all the different workplaces monitored, with short spikes during the execution of some specific job tasks. The sampling strategy was been adopted on the basis of an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggestion for a tiered approach and was found to be suitable for determining the individual exposure and for identifying possible sources of emission, even those with very low emission rates. The use of these instruments may lead to a significant improvement not only in the exposure assessment stage but, more generally, in the entire risk assessment and management process.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/703471
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