Skip to main content

Table 4 Summary of the workplace related exposure studies

From: Nanoparticle exposure at nanotechnology workplaces: A review

  Workplace Type of activity Nanomaterial Metric Results - remarks
[2] Industrial production Bagging areas of three plants Carbon black PSD(15-675 nm); MC; NC; CC No significant release of nanoparticles detected, release of agglomerates (> 400 nm) of nanoparticles in all cases of bagging detected if open systems were used; Other sources also significantly influence nanoscale particle concentrations
[3] Industrial production Production and pelletizer areas of three plants Carbon black PSD(15-675 nm);MC;NC; CC Significant release of nanoparticles (> 106 #/cm³) and their agglomerates detected in case of a leak in the pelletizing area; in case of good maintenance no significant release of NP from closed production and pelletizing processes; other sources significantly influenced particle number concentrations
[36] Toner and printing inks industry Bag emptying of powders Fumed silica NC (< 1 μm); PSD (< 1 μm); ASA (< 1 μm); morph.; CC Significantly increased1 NC (> 100 nm) and ASA detected during bag emptying; confirmed by TEM analysis
[37] Industrial manufacturing plant Manual packaging, warehouse, pelletizing carbon black PSD (< 1 μm); LDSA (< 1 μm) Higher NC and LDSA concentrations during activity than during non-activity
[41] Industrial manufacturing facility Liquid phase process, drying, grinding, handling, Silver PSD (15 nm-675 nm); morph Significant release of particles < 100 nm as well as of agglomerates was observed during all processing steps as soon as the reactor, dryer and grinder were opened, leading to possible exposure even for wet production processes
[45] Industrial production Metalloxide production (gas burner) and embedding into a porous oxide matrix, bagging, handling, cleaning and maintenance MeO (no further information) NC (10-1000 nm) PSD (14-760 nm), MC PM1 (0.1-1000 nm). Long term study on possible release of nanomaterial; Significant release of nanomaterial by 'open' production line, handling and cleaning < 1000 nm; Increased NC < 100 nm concurrent with production activity.
[46] Small commercial nanotechnology production facility Production of fullerenes (arc reaction), sweeping, vacuum cleaning Fullerenes PSD (14 nm - 673 nm), PM2.5 MC, PAH MC Slightly elevated NC in work area compared to background at one day out of 4 possibly related to cleaning of fume hood; Very good containment of the nanomaterial in the fume hood (production and handling area)
[47] Industrial production Wet mill Lithium titanate metal oxides NC (10-1000 nm), PSD (300 nm - 10 μm)MC (respirable fraction), CC, morph. Only large agglomerates have been detected
[48] Industrial production Bagging and agitation including use of vacuum cleaner during these work steps Fullerenes PDS (15 nm-10 μm), morph Release of particles < 100 nm were observed during bagging and vacuum cleaning; also release of particles > 2 μm was observed during all work steps, including agitation.
[50] Industrial production Production and processing (bagging, handling CNF in dryer, thermal treatment, removal from dryer) Carbon nanofibers NC; MC respirable; ASA; photoelectric response; CO and CO2 Elevated NC and MC indicate release of significant amounts of nanoscale particles and their agglomerates; no definite indication on release of single and agglomerated carbon nanofibres.
[51] Industrial production pilot plant, Industry processing Production and maintenance (silicon), extrusion of CNT nanocomposites Silicon; CNT PSD (5-600 nm); NC; ASA No changes in PSD and NC was observed during production, but spikes during cleaning of mostly agglomerated silicon (> 200 nm); High NC concentration observed in the extrusion area, but no specific CNT detection method was employed;
[56] Industrial manufacturing Production, filtration, bagging TiO2, Al2O3 PSD (5-600 nm); MC PM1; CC, morph Wet and combustion production processes were compared and no significant release of particles < 100 nm observed; in one case a bag was overfilled and release of agglomerates > 400 nm observed
[55, 61] Simulated industry workplace Compounding of nanocomposites with nanoscale alumina Al2O3 PSD (5.6-560 nm), morph. Significant release, confirmed by STEM analysis
[4] Laboratory and industrial production facility Normal activities during batchwise production of SWCNT: collection, removal, cleaning, opening container, vacuum cleaning SWCNT NC (10-1000 nm), MC (size fraction not indicated), morph, CC Likeliness of CNT exposure during production given; period of exposure relatively short (ca. 1 h) but concentration are sometimes high the exposure nearly pure nanomaterial.
[33] Laboratory to industrial workplace Synthesis of nanoobjects, handling and production of composite materials CNT, CNF, Carbon Nanopearls, fullerenes, TiO2, Ag, Mn, Co-oxide, Fe-oxide, Al, SiFe, QDs NC (15-1000 nm) for screening, PSD (300-1000 nm), MC, CC (not size selective) Increased NC in all three investigated size classes (10-1000 nm, 300-500 nm, 500-1000 nm) indicate Release of nanomaterial during various of the investigated sites; no systematic analysis of the results is presented
[38] Research Laboratory for use of carbon based ENMs Transfer of CNMs; sonication in environmentally relevant matrices Fullerenes, MWCNT; carbon black PSD (300 - 10,000 nm); NC (10 - 1,000 nm) Each activity resulted in increased particle number concentrations; TEM images clearly show CNM
[39] Research laboratories Scalable flame spray pyrolysis NaCl, BiPO4, CaSO4, Bi2O3, TiO2, SiO2, WO3, Cu/ZN, Cu/SiO2, Cu/ZrO2, Ta2O5/SiO2, Pt/Ba/Al2O3 PSD (15-675 nm); NC (> 7 nm; > 10 nm), MC (< 1 μm; < 10 μm) Concentration in near field and far field higher than in background in 40% of measured cases
[40] Research laboratories Plasma enhanced CVD; PVD; compounding of polymers with nanofillers Nanofillers (not further specified) PSD (5 nm - 20 μm); NC (< 370 nm) Increased concentrations detected, but likely not caused by ENP release
[42] Laboratory scale production Machining/cutting CNT hybrid composites NC, PSD (5 nm - 20 μm), morph, PM10 MC Small increases in NC during wet cutting, significant increases (ca. 300,000 #/cm³) during dry cutting; fibres detected in concentrations of 1-4 fibres/cm³ during dry cutting.
[43] Various2 Mixing of powder and liquid; filling/emptying oven; suspension spraying; flame spraying TnO, ZnO, InZnO, SiO2 PSD (14 nm-20 μm), NC (< 1 μm), MC (respirable and inhalable) No evidence of release of ZnO and InZnO during handling; very high concentrations during spraying of silane and flame spraying of SiO2 suspension
[49] Laboratory scale production Production by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) SWCNT, MWCNT PSD (5 nm - 20 μm); morph SWCNT and MWCNT release was determined in the production area in the fume hood, depending on process conditions; No significant amounts of CNT were detected in the breathing zone of a worker and the background.
[52] Laboratory scale production and handling Weighing, mixing with solvent, cutting raw CNF and CNF composite NC (10-1000 nm); PSD (10 nm - 10 μm); ASA; morph Slight increases in NC for weighing, mixing of CNF and wet cutting. TEM picture reveal the release of CNF during these processes. Minor airborne CNF concentration during normal handling; Main increase in PSD for sizes < 400 nm.
[53] Laboratory handling Handling in fume hoods of nanomaterial powders, pouring, transferring Al2O3, Silver PSD (5-600 nm); morph increased NC in the breathing zone of a worker mainly in size range > 100 nm but also partially < 100 nm during handling activity;
[54] Laboratory scale production and handling Growth, removal, shaving and transfer of CVD derived CNT CNT PSD (5-600 nm); NC (10-1000 nm); TP, ESP; MC Neither TEM nor NC analysis reveal a release of CNT during these processes
[62] Laboratory and industrial production Four production facilities (2 × TiO2 by combustion, Ag by plasma and in liquid via citrate), collection of powders in fume hood and in liquid TiO2, Silver PSD (15-710 nm); MC; CC, morph Lowest number concentration detection for in liquid production, higher particle number concentrations during combustion but also release from electro engines and other side activities