Exposure assessment of Nanomaterials at production sites by a Short Time Sampling (STS) approach : Strategy and first results of measurement campaigns

Abstract : Characterization of the exposition to nanoparticles and nano-objects at workplaces is a huge technical challenge. Workplace exposure during short durations is particularly difficult to detect due to the low performances of the samplers. This article proposes a solution allowing for characterizing emissions at workplaces and presents the results obtained from a nanomaterials exposure measurement campaign performed on six different process lines (PLs) distributed all over Europe. By using our Short Time Sampling (STS) approach, the emitted nanomaterials are characterized in terms of their number concentration, size, shape and chemical composition. The background noise without any production activity is first measured for each PL and then it is distinguished from the emitted nanomaterials during production. The PLs yield different nanomaterial emission levels: the PL using the extrusion of polymer composites shows high emission whereas the PL dealing with the electrospinning of polyamide nanofibers shows the least i.e. no significant change in the background noise during the process and no detectable nanofiber emission either. The nanomaterials get emitted in the form of nanoparticles or submicronic fibers, or their agglomerates and aggregates i.e. Nano Objects, Agglomerates and Aggregates (NOAA). By the developed technique, 9 out of 37 of the studied steps have been shown to exhibit exposures to nanoparticles and nano-objects. For nanosafety measures, the energetic processes like spraying, extrusion, transport and cleaning activities of the nanomaterials in the powder form require most attention.
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Christophe Bressot, Neeraj Shandilya, Thangavelu Jayabalan, Guillaume Fayet, Matthias Voetz, et al.. Exposure assessment of Nanomaterials at production sites by a Short Time Sampling (STS) approach : Strategy and first results of measurement campaigns. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Elsevier, 2018, 116, pp.324-332. ⟨10.1016/j.psep.2018.02.012⟩. ⟨ineris-01853362⟩

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