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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of Ultrafine Particles and VOCs Emitted from a 3D Printer

1
Department of Fire Protection, Faculty of Safety Engineering, VSB—Technical University of Ostrava, CZ708 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic
2
Department of Occupational and Process Safety, Faculty of Safety Engineering, VSB—Technical University of Ostrava, CZ708 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030929
Received: 21 December 2020 / Revised: 15 January 2021 / Accepted: 16 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
Currently, widely available three-dimensional (3D) printers are very popular with the public. Previous research has shown that these printers can emit ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Several studies have examined the emissivity of filaments from 3D printing, except glycol modified polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) and styrene free co-polyester (NGEN) filaments. The aim of this study was to evaluate UFP and VOC emissions when printing using a commonly available 3D printer (ORIGINAL PRUSA i3 MK2 printer) using PETG and NGEN. The concentrations of UFPs were determined via measurements of particle number concentration and size distribution. A thermal analysis was carried out to ascertain whether signs of fiber decomposition would occur at printing temperatures. The total amount of VOCs was determined using a photoionization detector, and qualitatively analyzed via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The total particle concentrations were 3.88 × 1010 particles for PETG and 6.01 × 109 particles for NGEN. VOCs at very low concentrations were detected in both filaments, namely ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene. In addition, styrene was identified in PETG. On the basis of our results, we recommend conducting additional measurements, to more accurately quantify personal exposure to both UFPs and VOCs, focusing on longer exposure as it can be a source of potential cancer risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrafine particles; 3D printing; VOCs; exposure ultrafine particles; 3D printing; VOCs; exposure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bernatikova, S.; Dudacek, A.; Prichystalova, R.; Klecka, V.; Kocurkova, L. Characterization of Ultrafine Particles and VOCs Emitted from a 3D Printer. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 929. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030929

AMA Style

Bernatikova S, Dudacek A, Prichystalova R, Klecka V, Kocurkova L. Characterization of Ultrafine Particles and VOCs Emitted from a 3D Printer. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):929. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030929

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bernatikova, Sarka; Dudacek, Ales; Prichystalova, Radka; Klecka, Vit; Kocurkova, Lucie. 2021. "Characterization of Ultrafine Particles and VOCs Emitted from a 3D Printer" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 3: 929. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030929

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