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What are the challenges of detecting and assessing nanomaterials in the workplace?

Home FAQThere are several challenges faced when measuring/ assessing nanomaterials in the workplace. Some of the key challenges faced include:

  • Nanomaterials form highly aggregated clumped entities in the workplace environment and therefore the particles identified will often not be their primary particle size; 
  • Discrimination from background, both in instrumental and filter based sampling, may prove challenging during the measurement/assessment of nanomaterials in the workplace. Using a combination of filter and instrumental sampling before any activity is carried out, in addition to sampling carried out away from the process in parallel to near field measurements helps to overcome this, although this may be problematic during high background environments;
  • The persistence of process-related particles in the workplace environment is a challenge when identifying release of material during a process. The analysis of background filter samples and instrumental data can aid the interpretation of particle persistence of a particular material by identifying its presence before the activity in question. 
  • The measurement of HARNs (High Aspect Ratio Nanomaterials) can be particularly challenging due to their unique morphology and subsequent behaviour in the air. HARNs are detected by instrumentation and filter sampling by their aerodynamic size and not their physical size.

SAFENANO provides expertise in exposure monitoring to identify and help you control exposure in the workplace. For further information, please visit our service page or contact us.

Did you know?

0.335 nm is the theoretical thickness of graphene.