AIHce 2013 – American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo


aihce_event-listingMr. Keith Rickabaugh, Technical Director at RJ Lee Group, will present a podium session entitled “Evaluation of the Thermophoretic Personal Air Sampler (TPS) for Collection of Nanoparticles” at American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (AIHce) 2013 on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:00 a.m. during the Nanotechnology II session. In addition, RJ Lee Group will have an exhibit at booth #1224. AIHce is an annual conference sponsored by AIHA and ACGIH, focusing on issues for occupational and environmental health and safety professionals.

Presentations and Sessions:

Wednesday, May 22

11:00 a.m. – “Evaluation of the Thermophoretic Personal Air Sampler (TPS) for Collection of Nanoparticles” Mr. Keith Rickabaugh

Challenges are involved with sampling airborne engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in the workplace. Some of the situation/problems involved with these challenges include equipment portability, instrument ease-of-use, particle specificity, interferences, costs, and appropriate sampling time. As a result, difficulties with determining the abundance, size, agglomeration state, and matrix associations for ENPs of specific interest might be viewed as overwhelming.

Potential resolution(s) to some of these challenges are evolving. Sampling and analysis methods as well as direct-reading instruments are continually advancing. One approach that has shown promise is the use of a miniaturized, battery-powered thermophoretic personal air sampler (TPS). The TPS utilizes a low-flow pump and collects particles directly on an electron microscope (EM) grid using thermophoretic force.

EM grids can be readily inserted and removed from the TPS while in the field and transported in a way that maintains sample integrity. Each grid can then be inserted into a high-resolution EM for examination, thus eliminating the sample preparation steps sometimes necessary using filter-based methods. In addition, the integrity of the nanoparticle distribution and matrix associations or agglomeration states of sampled UNPs is preserved.

The TPS has been evaluated in chamber tests and in workplaces. Particle collection efficiency was greater than 90% for sizes from 20 to 600 nm. Results from the TPS are compared to results from both direct-reading instruments and from integrated air samples to identify the advantages and limitations of this technique. This presentation will also include lessons learned from laboratory and field studies to help understand the utility of the TPS where release of ENPs into the workplace is possible.

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