Engineered nanomaterials exposure in the production of graphene

Andrea Spinazzè, Andrea Cattaneo, Davide Campagnolo, Valentina Bollati, Pier Alberto Bertazzi, Domenico M. Cavallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to obtain the multi-metric occupational exposure assessment to graphene family nanomaterials (GFNs) particles of workers engaged in the large-scale production of graphene. The study design consisted of the combination of (i) direct-reading instruments, used to evaluate the total particle number concentrations relative to the background concentration (time series with spatial approach) and the mean size-dependent characteristics of particles (mean diameter and surface-area concentration) and (ii) filter-based air sampling for the determination of size-resolved particle mass concentrations. The data obtained from direct reading measurement were then used to estimate the 8-h time weighted average (8-h TWA) exposure to GFNs particles for workers involved in different working tasks. Workers were generally exposed to 8-h TWA GFNs particle levels lower than the proposed reference value (40,000 particle/cm3). Furthermore, despite high short-term exposure conditions were present during specific operations of the production process, the possibility of significant exposure peaks is not likely to be expected. The estimated 8-h TWA concentration showed differences between the unexposed (3; 3) and exposed subjects (mean concentration ranging from 909 to 6438 particle/cm3 and from 0.38 to 3.86 µg/m3). The research outcomes can be of particular interest because the exposure of workers in real working conditions was assessed with a multi-metric approach; in this regard, the study suggests that workers who are directly involved in some specific working task (material sampling for quality control) have higher potential for occupational exposure than operators who are in charge of routine production work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-821
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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