A Strategy for Assessing Workplace Exposures to Nanomaterials

Publication Information:

Ramachandrana, G., M. Ostraatb, D.E. Evansc, M.M. Methnerc, P. O’Shaughnessyd, J. D’Arcye, C.L. Geracic, E. Stevensonf, A. Maynardg, K. Rickabaugh, “A Strategy for Assessing Workplace Exposures to Nanomaterials”, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Vol. 8(11), pp. 673 – 685. 2011. DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2011.623223

Year: 2011

This article describes a highly tailorable exposure assessment strategy for nanomaterials that enables effective and efficient exposure management (i.e., a strategy that can identify jobs or tasks that have clearly unacceptable exposures), while simultaneously requiring only a modest level of resources to conduct. The strategy is based on strategy general framework from AIHA® that is adapted for nanomaterials and seeks to ensure that the risks to workers handling nanomaterials are being managed properly. The strategy relies on a general framework as the basic foundation while building and elaborating on elements essential to an effective and efficient strategy to arrive at decisions based on collecting and interpreting available information. This article provides useful guidance on conducting workplace characterization; understanding exposure potential to nanomaterials; accounting methods for background aerosols; constructing SEGs; and selecting appropriate instrumentation for monitoring, providing appropriate choice of exposure limits, and describing criteria by which exposure management decisions should be made. The article is intended to be a practical guide for industrial hygienists for managing engineered nanomaterial risks in their workplaces.

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