With the wide applications of nanomaterials in an array of industries, more concerns are being raised about the occupational health and safety of nanoparticles in the workplace, and implications of nanotechnology on the environment and living systems. Studies on environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues of nanomaterials play a significant role in public acceptance, and eventual sustainability, of nanotechnology. We present research results on three aspects of the EHS studies: characterization and measurement of nanoparticles, nanoparticle emission and exposure at workplaces, and control and abatement of nanoparticle release using filtration technology. Measurement of nanoparticle agglomerates using a newly developed instrument, the Universal Nanoparticle Analyzer, is discussed. Nanoparticle emission and exposure measurement results for carbon nanotubes in the manufacture of nanocomposites and for silicon nanoparticles in their production at a pilot scale facility are presented. Filtration of nanoparticles and nanoparticle agglomerates are also studied.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work was partially supported by the NSF grant (award ID: 1056479) on “Real Time Measurement of Agglomerated or Aggregated Airborne Nanoparticles Released From a Manufacturing Process and Their Transport Characteristics” and by the NIEHS grant # 1RC2ES018741-01 (sub-grant 100029-D) on “Hazard Assessment and Risk Estimation of Inhaled Nanomaterials Exposure”. The authors thank the support of members of the Center for Filtration Research: 3M, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Cummins Filtration, Donaldson Co., Inc., Entegris, Inc., Hollingsworth & Vose Co., MANN+HUMMEL, GMBH, MSP Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, Shigematsu Works Co., Ltd, TSI Inc., and W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and affiliate member NIOSH. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program.
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