Exposure assessment of workplace manufacturing titanium dioxide particles
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With the widespread use of titanium dioxide (TiO2) human exposure is inevitable, but the exposure data on TiO2 are still limited. This study adopted off-line filter-based sampling combined with real-time activity-based monitoring to measure the concentrations in a workplace manufacturing TiO2 (primary diameter: 194 ± 108 nm). Mass concentrations (MCs) of aerosol particles in the packaging workshop (total dust: 3.17 mg/m3, nano dust: 1.22 mg/m3) were much higher than those in the milling workshop (total dust: 0.79 mg/m3, nano dust: 0.31 mg/m3) and executive office (total dust: 0.44 mg/m3, nano dust: 0.19 mg/m3). However, the MCs of TiO2 were at a relatively low level in the packaging workshop (total TiO2: 46.4 μg/m3, nano TiO2: 16.7 μg/m3) and milling workshop (total TiO2: 39.4 μg/m3, nano TiO2: 19.4 μg/m3) by ICP-MS. The number concentration (NC), surface area concentration (SAC) of aerosol particles potentially deposited in alveolar (SACA), and tracheobronchial (SACTB) regions of lungs in the packaging workshop were (1.04 ± 0.89) × 105 particles/cm3, 414.49 ± 395.07, and 86.01 ± 83.18 μm2/cm3, respectively, which were all significantly higher than those of the milling workshop [(0.12 ± 0.40) × 105 particles/cm3, 75.38 ± 45.23, and 17.60 ± 9.22 μm2/cm3, respectively] as well as executive office and outdoor background (p < 0.05). Activity-related characteristics were found in both workshops, and the time-variant characteristics showed very similar trends for 3 days in the packaging workshop. Our study provides important data of TiO2 particles exposure in the workplace.
KeywordsTitanium dioxide Nanomaterials Exposure assessment Workplace Occupational health
This research was supported by the Key Project of the National 12th-five Year Research Program of China (2014BAI12B04).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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