Nano-Evaluris: an inhalation and explosion risk evaluation method for nanoparticle use. Part I: description of the methodology

Abstract : In this paper, an inhalation health and explosion safety risk assessment methodology for nanopowders is described. Since toxicological threshold limit values are still unknown for nanosized substances, detailed risk assessment on specific plants may not be carried out. A simple approach based on occupational hazard/exposure band expressed in mass concentrations is proposed for nanopowders. This approach is consolidated with an iso surface toxicological scaling method, which has the merit, although incomplete, to provide concentration threshold levels for which new metrological instruments should be developed for proper air monitoring in order to ensure safety. Whenever the processing or use of nanomaterials is introducing a risk to the worker, a specific nano pictogram is proposed to inform the worker. Examples of risk assessment of process equipment (i.e., containment valves) processing various nanomaterials are provided. Explosion risks related to very reactive nanomaterials such as aluminum nanopowders can be assessed using this new analysis methodology adapted to nanopowders. It is nevertheless found that to formalize and extend this approach, it is absolutely necessary to develop new relevant standard apparatuses and to qualify individual and collective safety barriers with respect to health and explosion risks. In spite of these uncertainties, it appears, as shown in the second paper (Part II) that health and explosion risks, evaluated for given MWCNTs and aluminum nanoparticles, remain manageable in their continuous fabrication mode, considering current individual and collective safety barriers that can be put in place. The authors would, however, underline that peculiar attention must be paid to non-continuous modes of operations, such as process equipment cleaning steps, that are often under-analyzed and are too often forgotten critical steps needing vigilance in order to minimize potential toxic and explosion risks.
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Jacques Bouillard, Alexis Vignes. Nano-Evaluris: an inhalation and explosion risk evaluation method for nanoparticle use. Part I: description of the methodology. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Springer Verlag, 2014, 16 (2), pp.2149. ⟨10.1007/s11051-013-2149-5⟩. ⟨ineris-01709857⟩

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