Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Generation and Characterization of Occupationally Relevant Airborne Nanoparticles

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorDoug Evans
InstitutionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialIncidental Nanomaterials
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Generation, Dispersion, Transformation etc.
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Fundingn/a
Annual Fundingn/a
Funding SourceNIOSH
Funding MechanismIntramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2004
Anticipated End Year2009


Mounting evidence shows that the toxicity of some aerosols may be closely associated with the number or surface area of inhaled particles. Low-solubility ultrafine (typically smaller than 100 nm) and high-specific, surface-area particles are of particular concern. This project is part of a wider research program aimed at studying the toxicity of workplace-related aerosols in this category, including those associated with nanotechnology. Methods are being developed to generate and deliver well characterized particles to exposure systems, enabling particle characteristics responsible for specific toxic responses to be investigated in a systematic manner. The research includes the development of off-line and on-line aerosol and particle characterization techniques, including methods to measure aerosol surface area, and methods to characterize the composition and structure of nanometer-diameter particles.