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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Ultrafine Particles in Heavy Vehicle Assembly and Components Manufacturing Plants

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorThomas Peters
InstitutionUniversity of Iowa
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialIncidental Nanomaterials
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Exposure
Risk Assessment
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$110,000.00
Annual Funding$110,000.00
Funding SourceUAW, International Truck and Engine Corporation
Funding MechanismOther
Funding SectorOther
Start Year2004
Anticipated End Year2005


This work will evaluate the particle concentrations in a foundry and an engine plant that are owned and operated by International Truck and Engine Corporation and its subsidiary Indianapolis Casting Corporation. Aerosol maps will be constructed with data obtained from real-time, aerosol instruments: optical particle counters and condensation particle counters for number concentration; diffusion chargers for surface area concentration; and aerosol photometers for mass concentration. These instruments will allow us to prepare aerosol maps as a function of particle size [0.01 um to 5um], metric [number, surface area, and mass concentration], and season [winter and summer]. The operations floor plan of the plant will be overlaid onto these maps to identify the source and fate of particle contamination. Collocated with the real-time instruments, filter-based samplers will be used to measure directly respirable, PM1, and PM2.5 mass concentration. The response of the aerosol photometers will be calibrated with these mass measurements. Additional filter samples will be collected near suspected key particle sources; these samples will be analyzed chemically. The data from both real-time aerosol instruments and filter-based samplers will be investigated for relationships between particle number, surface area, and mass concentration. In addition, surface area concentration measured with the diffusion chargers will be compared to that estimated from the particle number and mass concentration measuring devices; this work will be done in collaboration with NIOSH. The knowledge generated from this work will allow industrial hygienists at UAW / International to better understand particle contamination in their heavy vehicle machining plants. Moreover, this work will help to identify how to measure particles and where to focus control efforts in vehicle manufacturing plants.