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Nanotoxicology. 2012 Sep;6(6):643-51. doi: 10.3109/17435390.2011.600838. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Exposure to CeO(2) nanoparticles during flame spray process.

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Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Aerosols, Dusts and Metals, Helsinki, Finland.


The use of nanotechnology in different fields is increasing rapidly. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) may have adverse effect on human health, but little is known about the exposure levels of ENPs at occupational settings. In this study, exposure levels of cerium oxide (CeO(2)) ENPs were measured during enclosed flame spray process used for coating and surface modification of materials. Particle number concentration, mass concentration, and morphology and composition of the ENPs were studied. The average particle number concentration varied from 4.7·10(3) to 2.1·10(5) 1/cm(3) inside the enclosure, and from 4.6·10(3) to 1.4·10(4) 1/cm(3) outside the enclosure. The average mass concentrations inside and outside the enclosure were 320 and 66 μg/m(3), respectively. A batch-type process caused significant variation in the concentrations, especially inside the enclosure. CeO(2) ENPs were mainly chainlike aggregates, consisting of spherical 20-40 nm primary particles having crystalline structure. In conclusion, enclosure of the process with efficient ventilation seemed to be an effective means to reduce the exposure to CeO(2) ENPs as expected.

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