Continuous 3-day exposure assessment of workplace manufacturing silver nanoparticles
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With the increased production and widespread use of nanomaterials, human and environmental exposure to nanomaterials is inevitably increasing. Therefore, this study monitored the possible nanoparticle exposure at a workplace that manufactures silver nanoparticles. To estimate the potential exposure of workers, personal sampling, area monitoring, and real-time monitoring were conducted over 3 days using a scanning mobility particle sizer and dust monitor at a workplace where the workers handle nanomaterials. The area sampling concentrations obtained from the injection room showed the highest concentration, ranging from 0.00501 to 0.28873 mg/m3. However, apart from the injection room, none of the area samplings obtained from other locations showed a concentration higher than 0.0013 mg/m3. Meanwhile, the personal sampling concentrations ranged from 0.00004 to 0.00243 mg/m3 over the 3 days of sampling, which was much lower than the silver TLV. The particle number concentrations at the silver nanoparticle manufacturing workplace were 911,170 (1st day), 1,631,230 (2nd day), and 1,265,024 (3rd day) particles/cm3 with a size range of 15–710.5 nm during the operation of the reactor, while the concentration decreased to 877,364.9 (1st day), 492,732 (2nd day), and 344,343 (3rd day) particles/cm3 when the reactor was stopped.
KeywordsSilver nanoparticle Exposure assessment Workplace Continuous monitoring Manufacturing
This research was supported by the Nano R&D program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-0019171).
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