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0195 Carbon nanotube exposure assessment for a study on early biological effects; the CANTES study
  1. Eelco Kuijpers1,
  2. Roel Vermeulen2,
  3. Peter Tromp1,
  4. Wouter Fransman1,
  5. Derk Brouwer1,
  6. Lode Godderis3,4,
  7. Jelle Vlaanderen2,
  8. Cindy Bekker1,2,
  9. Anjoeka Pronk1
  1. 1TNO, Zeist, The Netherlands
  2. 2IRAS, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Occupational, Environmental and Insurance Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  4. 4External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work, Idewe, Heverlee, Belgium

Abstract

Objectives To assess personal exposure to carbon nanotubes for a study of early effect biomarkers among workers exposed to carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

Method Three major job categories were identified in the exposed factory: production, R&D and office. For qualitative assessment personal 8-hr-TWA inhalable dust samples (n = 5) were collected in all job categories and analysed by SEM-EDX. For quantitative assessment 8-hr TWA samples (n = 30) were collected from the production and R&D workers and analysed for elemental carbon, corrected for soot using SEM/EDX. Job activities were recorded during all measurements.

Results The qualitative analyses demonstrated the presence of CNTs in the personal breathing zone of production, R&D and office workers. CNT agglomerates with particle sizes between 500 nm and 100 μm were identified for production and R&D workers and between 500 nm and 5 μm for office workers. No single CNTs were identified. The quantitative analyses demonstrated geometric mean (GM) inhalable CNT levels of 42.6 μg/m3 (min-max: 1.4–1186.5) and 4.6 μg/m3 (min-max: 0.2–59.5) for the production and R&D workers, respectively.

Conclusions We identified exposure to clusters of CNT in production, R&D and office workers of the CNT production facility. As expected GM exposure was higher for production than for R&D workers, however considerable variability was observed. Additional quantitative measurements in office and production workers are ongoing. For the full set, analyses of within- and between-worker variability and activity as a determinant will be performed. This information will be used to assess personal exposure in a cross-sectional study of early health effects in the CANTES study.

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