miners drilling rock, dust cloud

This page provides links to a variety of information regarding the measurement, control, exposure characterization and health effects associated with aerosols in the workplace. The definition of an aerosol, as used here, is a suspension of tiny particles or droplets in the air, such as dusts, mists, or fumes. These particles may be inhaled or absorbed by the skin, and can sometimes cause adverse health effects for workers. NIOSH has carried out extensive research to minimize the adverse health effects associated with aerosol exposures. Results of such research are available through the links on this page.

NIOSH Aerosol Research

NIOSH Aerosol Research Overview
Provides an overview of ongoing aerosol-related research projects in the field and in NIOSH laboratories. List of Active internal NIOSH research projects related to aerosols

External NIOSH research projects related to aerosols may be found several ways:

Aerosol Research Gaps
NIOSH researchers have developed a prioritized list of research and policy needs, and identified areas where they are looking for opportunities to collaborate with external research partners, scientists, and organizations.

Aerosol Sampling

Cyclone Bioaerosol Sampler
While looking for ways to improve the collection and analysis of bioaerosols, a NIOSH scientist has developed a new design for a cyclone bioaerosol sampler. Acyclone sampler draws air into a cylindrical chamber where the air flow is rotated. Particles of a sufficiently large size move toward the walls of the chamber by centrifugal force, where they are collected.


NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.

Selected Query Results:

Aerosol 101: Helpful Tutorials

Generation and Behavior of Airborne Particles (Aerosols)pdf icon
Aerosol 101pdf icon[PDF – 347 KB]

Disclaimer: The following links in this section go to web sites outside of CDC/NIOSH and should not be considered as an official endorsement of their content, or as a statement of NIOSH policy.

Aerosol Science & Engineeringexternal icon
This interactive program is designed for aerosol science and engineering education at the introductory level. It was created by the University of Florida and Washington University in St. Louis through the support of National Science Foundation Grant.

Optical Particle Counter - Learning About Cyclones - Respiratory Deposition

Aerosol Dictionaryexternal icon
Provides a variety of information on aerosol instrumentation, terminology, more…

Aerosol Short Courseexternal icon
Brochure describing the annual 3-day seminar offered by the University of Minnesota.

NIOSH Resources

Hazard Control 30: Control of Drywall Sanding Dust Exposures
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99–113
This document details several methods to control exposure to high concentrations of dusts from sanding drywall joint compound.

Handbook for Dust Control in Mines
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-147
Describes effective methods for the control of mineral dusts in mines.

NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-113 (1994)
NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-140
Exposure limits, Respirator Recommendations, First Aid, more…
The Pocket Guide is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes found in the work environment. Key data provided for each chemical/substance includes name (including synonyms/trade names), structure/formula, CAS/RTECS Numbers, DOT ID, conversion factors, exposure limits, IDLH, chemical and physical properties, measurement methods, personal protection, respirator recommendations, symptoms, and first aid.

National Occupational Research Agenda – Emerging Technologies
The NORA Emerging Technologies Team is working to establish mechanisms to ensure that worker health and safety is considered when new technologies are developed and implemented

Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS)
RTECS is a compendium of toxicological information extracted from the open scientific literature.

Related NIOSH Topics

Resources / Organizations

Disclaimer: The following links in this section go to web sites outside of CDC/NIOSH and should not be considered as an official endorsement of their content, or as a statement of NIOSH policy.

AAARexternal icon
Aerosol-related links page.

Aerosol Calculatorexternal icon
A downloadable spreadsheet for calculating aerosol properties and behaviors.

CIIT (Centers for Health Research)external icon
A source for the multiple path particle dosimetry model.external icon

ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection)external icon
A source for lung deposition modeling software.

NRC Reportexternal icon
Research priorities for particulate matter

National Nanotechnology Initiativeexternal icon
A U.S. government initiative to organize nanotechnology research, started in 2001

The Particle Atlasexternal icon
A collection of electron micrographs of many typical aerosol particles

Particulate Matter Research Activitiesexternal icon
This website is being developed to assist in particulate matter research, and to support the activities of the National Research Council Committee on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter. The site is run by HEI and EPA, but covers industry and academia as well as government activities.


Aerosol Science & Technologyexternal icon
Annals of Occupational Hygieneexternal icon
Atmospheric Environmentexternal icon
Atomization and Spraysexternal icon
Journal of Aerosol Research, Japanexternal icon
Journal of Aerosol Scienceexternal icon
Journal of Aerosols in Medicineexternal icon
Journal of the Air Waste Management Associationexternal icon
Journal of Colloid and Interface Scienceexternal icon
Journal of Nanoparticle Researchexternal icon
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygieneexternal icon
Environmental Science and Technologyexternal icon
Particle & Particle Systems Characterizationexternal icon
Particulate Science and Technologyexternal icon
Powder Technologyexternal icon

Page last reviewed: June 29, 2010