Identification and characterization of potential sources of worker exposure to carbon nanofibers during polymer composite laboratory operations.
Mazzuckelli LF; Methner MM; Birch ME; Evans DE; Ku BK; Crouch K; Hoover MD
J Occup Environ Hyg 2007 Dec; 4(12):D125-D130
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request to conduct a health hazard evaluation (HHE) at a university-based research laboratory using carbon nanofibers (CNFs) to produce high-performance polymer composite materials. Though no health complaints had been reported, the laboratory management sought NIOSH assistance to assess potential CNF exposures. To address management and worker concerns, NIOSH investigators conducted air and surface sampling for CNFs during various material handling and processing operations within the laboratory. There is limited published information on the potential adverse health effects of engineered nanomaterials(1) (human-made material possessing at least one size dimension between approximately 1 to 100 nanometers), but some materials do pose reasons for concern.(2) There are currently no occupational exposure limits governing workplace exposure to engineered nanomaterials. For these reasons, nanomaterials present new challenges to understanding, predicting, and managing potential health risks to workers.(1) In addition, uncertainties concerning exposure risk may be great because the nanomaterial characteristics may be quite different from those of larger particles with the same chemical composition. The most likely route of exposure to engineered nanomaterials is through inhalation; however, ingestion or dermal penetration may also occur.(3-6) The goal of this study was to examine various operations involved in the handling or processing of CNF materials and to determine whether emission of these materials occurred. Potential sources were identified on a process-by-process basis during a walk-through survey of the laboratory.
Occupational-exposure; Inhalation-studies; Inhalants; Respirable-dust; Respiration; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Respiratory-irritants; Laboratories; Laboratory-workers; Particulate-dust; Particle-aerodynamics; Particulates; Pneumography; Lung-disorders; Lung; Lung-irritants; Breathing-atmospheres; Workplace-studies; Work-environment; Case-studies; Nanotechnology
EID; DRDS; DART
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene