Review Published on the Release and Exposure to Airborne Nanomaterials in the Workplace  

Published last week in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, Ding et al. summarizes information collected in various studies on the release mechanisms of nanomaterials (NMs) and how the specific NM, matrix material and processing/industrial activity can influence it. Their analysis concludes that the release of NMs can be grouped by the type of occupational activity and can be linked to process energy. They found that “high energy” processes (e.g. synthesis, spraying, machining) was associated with the release of larger quantities of smaller NMs; “low energy” processes (e.g. handling, cleaning) resulted in lower levels of NM release, and released larger agglomerates. Their works suggests that the potential for NM release can be ranked, or categorized, based on the industrial or manufacturing processes.  This can help to prioritize high-release processes for industrial risk assessments.