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Article

Occupational Exposure to Ultrafine Particles in Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Assessment

1
ALGORITMI Research Center, School of Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
2
CATIM—Technological Center for the Metal Working Industry, 4100-414 Porto, Portugal
3
CTCV—Technological Center for Ceramic and Glass, 3040-540 Coimbra, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shinichi Tokuno
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189788
Received: 27 July 2021 / Revised: 12 September 2021 / Accepted: 14 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Science and New Technologies in Public Health)
Ultrafine particles (UFPs) can be released unintentionally during metal additive manufacturing (AM). Experts agree on the urgent need to increase the knowledge of the emerging risk of exposure to nanoparticles, although different points of view have arisen on how to do so. This article presents a case study conducted on a metal AM facility, focused on studying the exposure to incidental metallic UFP. It intends to serve as a pilot study on the application of different methodologies to manage this occupational risk, using qualitative and quantitative approaches that have been used to study exposure to engineered nanoparticles. Quantitative data were collected using a condensation particle counter (CPC), showing the maximum particle number concentration in manual cleaning tasks. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analyzer (EDS) measurements were performed, showing no significant change in the particles’ chemical composition, size, or surface (rugosity) after printing. A qualitative approach was fulfilled using Control Banding Nanotool 2.0, which revealed different risk bands depending on the tasks performed. This article culminates in a critical analysis regarding the application of these two approaches in order to manage the occupational risk of exposure to incidental nanoparticles, raising the potential of combining both. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk management; occupational exposure; incidental nanoparticles; control banding; ultrafine particles; exposure; metal additive manufacturing risk management; occupational exposure; incidental nanoparticles; control banding; ultrafine particles; exposure; metal additive manufacturing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sousa, M.; Arezes, P.; Silva, F. Occupational Exposure to Ultrafine Particles in Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Assessment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9788. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189788

AMA Style

Sousa M, Arezes P, Silva F. Occupational Exposure to Ultrafine Particles in Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Assessment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9788. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189788

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sousa, Marta, Pedro Arezes, and Francisco Silva. 2021. "Occupational Exposure to Ultrafine Particles in Metal Additive Manufacturing: A Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Assessment" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9788. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189788

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