nanoIndEx – Assessment of Individual Exposure to manufactured nanomaterials by means of personal monitors and samplers
Exposure to airborne nanomaterials needs to be measured in the personal breathing zone using nano-specific personal samplers or monitors. Such personal instruments have only become available over the recent years.
The main objectives of the nanoIndEx project were hence to scrutinize the possibilities and limitations of these novel instruments in both laboratory and field studies and then to generate reliable data regarding the personal exposure to airborne nanomaterials in real workplaces. nanoIndEx therefore studied the accuracy and comparability of the samplers and monitors, which was found to be typically around ± 30 % or better for compact or agglomerated particles. Dedicated studies on their field applicability showed that this accuracy and comparability is still applicable under real field conditions and that all tested instruments are robust and ready for field use.
However, the choice of sampling tube material needs to be carefully considered, because some polymer types were found to induce drastic artefacts when connected to monitoring devices. It was furthermore found that none of the applied monitors could be used to measure exposure to fibrous aerosols, e.g. containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Instead, the development of a sampling and data evaluation routine for fibres was initiated.
Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) regarding the proper use of the personal monitors and samplers and the performance of field studies have been written and shared via the project website www.nanoindex.eu. Numerous field studies have been conducted and a data collection and evaluation protocol has been developed. All applicable data have been uploaded to the international Nano Exposure and Contextual Information Database (NECID).
One main objective of the project was to widely distribute the project’s findings. Consequently, a 49- page Guidance Document “Assessment of Personal Exposure to Airborne Nanomaterials – a guidance document, NanoIndEx Consortium 2016” on the assessment of personal exposure to airborne nanomaterials has been written, printed and disseminated. It is also available on the project website. In addition, a large number of peer reviewed papers and book chapters have been (or will be) published and numerous presentations were (and will continue to be) given at various occasions to inform among others exposure scientists, occupational hygienists and workplace practitioners about the project results.
Grant Number: ERA-Net SIINN - FKZ 03X0127
Duration: 01.06.2013 - 30.05.2016