Workplace air measurements and likelihood of exposure to manufactured nano-objects, agglomerates, and aggregates
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- Brouwer, D.H., van Duuren-Stuurman, B., Berges, M. et al. J Nanopart Res (2013) 15: 2090. doi:10.1007/s11051-013-2090-7
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Manufactured nano-objects, agglomerates, and aggregates (NOAA) may have adverse effect on human health, but little is known about occupational risks since actual estimates of exposure are lacking. In a large-scale workplace air-monitoring campaign, 19 enterprises were visited and 120 potential exposure scenarios were measured. A multi-metric exposure assessment approach was followed and a decision logic was developed to afford analysis of all results in concert. The overall evaluation was classified by categories of likelihood of exposure. At task level about 53 % showed increased particle number or surface area concentration compared to “background” level, whereas 72 % of the TEM samples revealed an indication that NOAA were present in the workplace. For 54 out of the 120 task-based exposure scenarios, an overall evaluation could be made based on all parameters of the decision logic. For only 1 exposure scenario (approximately 2 %), the highest level of potential likelihood was assigned, whereas in total in 56 % of the exposure scenarios the overall evaluation revealed the lowest level of likelihood. However, for the remaining 42 % exposure to NOAA could not be excluded.