A Review of Workplace Risk Management Measures for Nanomaterials to Mitigate Inhalation and Dermal Exposure

This review describes an evaluation of the effectiveness of Risk Management Measures (RMM) for nanomaterials in the workplace. Our aim was to review the effectiveness of workplace RMM for nanomaterials and to determine whether established effectiveness values of conventional chemical substances applied for modelling purposes should be adopted or revised based on available evidence. A literature review was conducted to collate nano-specific data on workplace RMM. Besides the quantitative efficacy values, the library was populated with important covariables such as the study design, measurement type, size of particles or agglomerates/aggregates, and metrics applied. In total 770 records were retrieved from 41 studies for three general types of RMM (engineering controls, respiratory equipment and skin protective equipment: gloves and clothing). Records were found for various sub-categories of the different types of RMM although the number of records for each was generally limited. Significant variation in efficacy values was observed within RMM categories while also considering the respective covariables. Based on a comparative evaluation with efficacy values applied for conventional substances, adapted efficacy values are proposed for various RMM sub-categories (e.g. containment, fume cupboards, FFP2 respirators). It is concluded that RMM efficacy data for nanomaterials are limited and often inconclusive to propose effectiveness values. This review also shed some light on the current knowledge gaps for nanomaterials related to RMM effectiveness (e.g. ventilated walk-in enclosures and clean rooms) and the challenges foreseen to derive reliable RMM efficacy values from aggregated data in the future.

Source: Goede, H., Christopher-de Vries, Y., Kuijpers, E. et Fransman, W. (2018). Annals of work exposures and health.

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