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Nanoparticle exposure at nanotechnology workplaces: A review

Thomas AJ Kuhlbusch13*, Christof Asbach1, Heinz Fissan13, Daniel Göhler2 and Michael Stintz2

  • * Corresponding author: Thomas AJ Kuhlbusch

Author Affiliations

1 Air Quality & Sustainable Nanotechnology, Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology e.V. (IUTA), D-47229 Duisburg, Germany

2 Research Group Mechanical Process Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), D-01062 Dresden, Germany

3 Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CeNIDE), University Duisburg-Essen, D-47057, Germany

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Particle and Fibre Toxicology 2011, 8:22  doi:10.1186/1743-8977-8-22

Published: 27 July 2011


Risk, associated with nanomaterial use, is determined by exposure and hazard potential of these materials. Both topics cannot be evaluated absolutely independently. Realistic dose concentrations should be tested based on stringent exposure assessments for the corresponding nanomaterial taking into account also the environmental and product matrix. This review focuses on current available information from peer reviewed publications related to airborne nanomaterial exposure. Two approaches to derive realistic exposure values are differentiated and independently presented; those based on workplace measurements and the others based on simulations in laboratories. An assessment of the current available workplace measurement data using a matrix, which is related to nanomaterials and work processes, shows, that data are available on the likelihood of release and possible exposure. Laboratory studies are seen as an important complementary source of information on particle release processes and hence for possible exposure. In both cases, whether workplace measurements or laboratories studies, the issue of background particles is a major problem. From this review, major areas for future activities and focal points are identified.

Nanoobjects; nanomaterial; airborne; release; exposure; workplace; handling; processing