Airborne engineered nanomaterials in the workplace—a review of release and worker exposure during nanomaterial production and handling processes
Ding, Y. and Kuhlbusch, T.A.J. and Van Tongeren, M. and Jiménez, A.S. and Tuinman, I. and Chen, R. and Alvarez, I.L. and Mikolajczyk, U. and Nickel, C. and Meyer, J. and Kaminski, H. and Wohlleben, W. and Stahlmecke, B. and Clavaguera, S. and Riediker, M.
JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Volume: 322 Pages: 17-28
For exposure and risk assessment in occupational settings involving engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), it is important to understand the mechanisms of release and how they are influenced by the ENM, the matrix material, and process characteristics. This review summarizes studies providing ENM release information in occupational settings, during different industrial activities and using various nanomaterials. It also assesses the contextual information — such as the amounts of materials handled, protective measures, and measurement strategies — to understand which release scenarios can result in exposure. High-energy processes such as synthesis, spraying, and machining were associated with the release of large numbers of predominantly small-sized particles. Low-energy processes, including laboratory handling, cleaning, and industrial bagging activities, usually resulted in slight or moderate releases of relatively large agglomerates. The present analysis suggests that process-based release potential can be ranked, thus helping to prioritize release assessments, which is useful for tiered exposure assessment approaches and for guiding the implementation of workplace safety strategies. The contextual information provided in the literature was often insufficient to directly link release to exposure. The studies that did allow an analysis suggested that significant worker exposure might mainly occur when engineering safeguards and personal protection strategies were not carried out as recommended. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.