Excursion guidance criteria to guide control of peak emission and exposure to airborne engineered particles

McGarry, Peter D., Morawska, Lidia, Knibbs, Luke D., & Morris, Howard (2013) Excursion guidance criteria to guide control of peak emission and exposure to airborne engineered particles. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 10(11), pp. 640-651.

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Abstract

The overall aim of our research was to characterize airborne particles from selected nanotechnology processes and to utilize the data to develop and test quantitative particle concentration-based criteria that can be used to trigger an assessment of particle emission controls.

We investigated particle number concentration (PNC), particle mass (PM) concentration, count median diameter (CMD), alveolar deposited surface area, elemental composition, and morphology from sampling of aerosols arising from six nanotechnology processes. These included fibrous and non-fibrous particles, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

We adopted standard occupational hygiene principles in relation to controlling peak emission and exposures, as outlined by both Safe Work Australia, (1) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®). (2) The results from the study were used to analyses peak and 30-minute averaged particle number and mass concentration values measured during the operation of the nanotechnology processes.

Analysis of peak (highest value recorded) and 30-minute averaged particle number and mass concentration values revealed: Peak PNC20–1000 nm emitted from the nanotechnology processes were up to three orders of magnitude greater than the local background particle concentration (LBPC). Peak PNC300–3000 nm was up to an order of magnitude greater, and PM2.5 concentrations up to four orders of magnitude greater. For three of these nanotechnology processes, the 30-minute average particle number and mass concentrations were also significantly different from the LBPC (p-value < 0.001).

We propose emission or exposure controls may need to be implemented or modified, or further assessment of the controls be undertaken, if concentrations exceed three times the LBPC, which is also used as the local particle reference value, for more than a total of 30 minutes during a workday, and/or if a single short-term measurement exceeds five times the local particle reference value. The use of these quantitative criteria, which we are terming the universal excursion guidance criteria, will account for the typical variation in LBPC and inaccuracy of instruments, while precautionary enough to highlight peaks in particle concentration likely to be associated with particle emission from the nanotechnology process. Recommendations on when to utilize local excursion guidance criteria are also provided.

Impact and interest:

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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 62892
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: excursion guidance criteria, engineered nanoparticle, nanotechnology, particle measurement, tiered assessment, local background particle concentration
DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2013.831987
ISSN: 1545-9624
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Aerosols (040101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified (090799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > NANOTECHNOLOGY (100700)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 10(11), pp. 640-651. [2013] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15459624.2013.831987
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2013 00:23
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 11:58

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