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Assessment of Determinants of Emission Potentially Affecting the Concentration of Airborne Nano-Objects and Their Agglomerates and Aggregates

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Author: Bekker, C. · Fransman, W. · Boessen, R. · Oerlemans, A. · Ottenbros, I.B. · Vermeulen, R.
Source:Annals of work exposures and health, 1, 61, 98-109
Identifier: 782897
doi: doi:10.1093/annweh/wxw013
Keywords: Nutrition · Emission determinants · Exposure modelling · NOAA · Nanomaterial · Air pollutant · Analysis · Devices · Exposure · Statistics and numerical data · Theoretical model · Air Pollutants, Occupational · Environmental Monitoring · Humans · Inhalation Exposure · Models, Theoretical · Nanostructures · Occupational Exposure · Particle Size · Silicon Dioxide · Workplace · Food and Nutrition · Healthy Living · Life · RAPID - Risk Analysis for Products in Development · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Background: Nano-specific inhalation exposure models could potentially be effective tools to assess and control worker exposure to nano-objects, and their aggregates and agglomerates (NOAA). However, due to the lack of reliable and consistent collected NOAA exposure data, the scientific basis for validation of the existing NOAA exposure models is missing or limited. The main objective of this study was to gain more insight into the effect of various determinants underlying the potential on the concentration of airborne NOAA close to the source with the purpose of providing a scientific basis for existing and future exposure inhalation models. Method: Four experimental studies were conducted to investigate the effect of 11 determinants of emission on the concentration airborne NOAA close to the source during dumping of ~100% nanopowders. Determinants under study were: nanomaterial, particle size, dump mass, height, rate, ventilation rate, mixing speed, containment, particle surface coating, moisture content of the powder, and receiving surface. The experiments were conducted in an experimental room (19.5 m3) with well-controlled environmental and ventilation conditions. Particle number concentration and size distribution were measured using real-time measurement devices. Results: Dumping of nanopowders resulted in a higher number concentration and larger particles than dumping their reference microsized powder (P < 0.05). Statistically significant more and larger particles were also found during dumping of SiO2 nanopowder compared to TiO2/Al2O3 nanopowders. Particle surface coating did not affect the number concentration but on average larger particles were found during dumping of coated nanopowders. An increase of the powder's moisture content resulted in less and smaller particles in the air. Furthermore, the results indicate that particle number concentration increases with increasing dump height, rate, and mass and decreases when ventilation is turned on. Discussion: These results give an indication of the direction and magnitude of the effect of the studied determinants on concentrations close to the source and provide a scientific basis for (further) development of existing and future NOAA inhalation exposure models. Chemicals/CAS: silicon dioxide, 10279-57-9, 14464-46-1, 14808-60-7, 15468-32-3, 60676-86-0, 7631-86-9; Air Pollutants, Occupational; Silicon Dioxide