Exposure to carbon nanotube material: Aerosol release during the handling of unrefined single-walled carbon nanotube material

Andrew Maynard, Paul A. Baron, Michael Foley, Anna A. Shvedova, Elena R. Kisin, Vincent Castranova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

637 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes represent a relatively recently discovered allotrope of carbon that exhibits unique properties. While commercial interest in the material is leading to the development of mass production and handling facilities, little is known of the risk associated with exposure. In a two-part study, preliminary investigations have been carried out into the potential exposure routes and toxicity of single-walled carbon nanotube material (SWCNT) - a specific form of the allotrope. The material is characterized by bundles of fibrous carbon molecules that may be a few nanometers in diameter, but micrometers in length. The two production processes investigated use-transition metal catalysts, leading to the inclusion of nanometer-scale metallic particles within unrefined SWCNT material. A laboratory-based study was undertaken to evaluate the physical nature of the aerosol formed from SWCNT during mechanical agitation. This was complemented by a field study in which airborne and dermal exposure to SWCNT was investigated while handling unrefined material. Although laboratory studies indicated that with sufficient agitation, unrefined SWCNT material can release fine particles into the air, concentrations generated while handling material in the field were very low. Estimates of the airborne concentration of nanotube material generated during handling suggest that concentrations were lower than 53 μg/m3 in all cases. Glove deposits of SWCNT during handling were estimated at between 0.2 mg and 6 mg per hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-107
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Volume67
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 9 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Carbon Nanotubes
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCN)
Aerosols
Carbon nanotubes
aerosol
Materials handling
Carbon
Nanotubes
carbon nanotube
exposure
material
Hand
Metals
Air
Transition metals
Skin
Toxicity
carbon
transition element
Deposits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Exposure to carbon nanotube material : Aerosol release during the handling of unrefined single-walled carbon nanotube material. / Maynard, Andrew; Baron, Paul A.; Foley, Michael; Shvedova, Anna A.; Kisin, Elena R.; Castranova, Vincent.

In: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues, Vol. 67, No. 1, 09.01.2004, p. 87-107.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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