This site study was conducted in a chemical laboratory to evaluate nanomaterial emissions from 20–30-nm-diameter bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) during product development activities. Direct-reading instruments were used to monitor the tasks in real time, and airborne particles were collected using various methods to characterize released nanomaterials using electron microscopy and elemental carbon (EC) analyses. CNT clusters and a few high-aspect-ratio particles were identified as being released from some activities. The EC concentration (0.87 μg/m3) at the source of probe sonication was found to be higher than other activities including weighing, mixing, centrifugation, coating, and cutting. Various sampling methods all indicated different levels of CNTs from the activities; however, the sonication process was found to release the highest amounts of CNTs. It can be cautiously concluded that the task of probe sonication possibly released nanomaterials into the laboratory and posed a risk of surface contamination. Based on these results, the sonication of CNT suspension should be covered or conducted inside a ventilated enclosure with proper filtration or a glovebox to minimize the potential of exposure.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 22, 2017
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