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Exposure and emissions monitoring during carbon nanofiber production - part I: elemental carbon and iron-soot aerosols.
Birch ME; Ku B-K; Evans DE; Ruda-Eberenz TA
Ann Occup Hyg 2011 Nov; 55(9):1016-1036
Production of carbon nanofibers and nanotubes (CNFs/CNTs) and their composite products is increasing globally. High volume production may increase the exposure risks for workers who handle these materials. Though health effects data for CNFs/CNTs are limited, some studies raise serious health concerns. Given the uncertainty about their potential hazards, there is an immediate need for toxicity data and field studies to assess exposure to CNFs/CNTs. An extensive study was conducted at a facility that manufactures and processes CNFs. Filter, sorbent, cascade impactor, bulk, and microscopy samples, combined with direct-reading instruments, provided complementary information on air contaminants. Samples were analyzed for organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), with EC as a measure of CNFs. Transmission electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy also was applied. Fine/ultrafine iron-rich soot, PAHs, and carbon monoxide were production byproducts. Direct-reading instrument results were reported previously [Evans DE et al. (Aerosol monitoring during carbon nanofiber production: mobile direct-reading sampling. Ann Occup Hyg 2010;54:514-31.)]. Results for time-integrated samples are reported as companion papers in this issue. OC and EC, metals, and microscopy results are reported here, in Part I, while results for PAHs are reported in Part II (Birch, this Issue). Respirable EC area concentrations inside the facility were about 6-68 times higher than outdoors, while personal breathing zone samples were up to 170 times higher.
Nanotechnology; Nanofibers; Nanotubes; Risk-analysis; Hazardous-materials; Industrial-hazards; Industrial-exposures; Biological-effects; Toxic-effects; Toxic-materials; Sampling; Sampling-equipment; Sampling-methods; Air-contamination; Air-sampling; Air-sampling-equipment; Metals; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Microscopy; Spectrographic-analysis; Spectroscopes; Ultrafine-particles; Author Keywords: carbon nanofiber; elemental carbon; nanomaterial; nanotube; occupational exposure; ultrafine
M. Eileen Birch, Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS-R5, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
Issue of Publication
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 15, 2020Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division