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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 237140, 10 pages
Research Article

Three-Day Continuous Exposure Monitoring of CNT Manufacturing Workplaces

1Institute of Nanoproduct Safety Research, Hoseo University, Asan 336-795, Republic of Korea
2Hanyang University, Ansan, Gyeonggi-do 426- 791, Republic of Korea
3Occupational Safety & Health Research Institute, Korean Occupational Safety & Health Agency, Daejeon 305-380, Republic of Korea

Received 9 November 2014; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Peter P. Egeghy

Copyright © 2015 Ji Hyun Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Continuous monitoring for possible exposure to carbon nanotubes was conducted over a period of 2 to 3 days at workplaces that manufacture multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). To estimate the potential emission of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and potential exposure of workers, personal sampling, area monitoring, and real-time monitoring using an scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and dust monitor were conducted at workplaces where the workers manufactured CNTs. The personal and area sampling of the total suspended particulate (TSP) at the MWCNT manufacturing facilities ranged from 0.031 to 0.254 and from N.D (not detected) to 0.253 mg/m3, respectively. This 2- to 3-day monitoring study found that nanoparticles were released when opening the chemical vapor deposit (CVD) reactor door after the synthesis of MWCNTs, when transferring the MWCNTs to containers and during blending and grinding. However, distinguishing the background concentration from the work process particle emission was complicated due to sustained and even increased particle concentrations after the work processes were terminated. The MWCNTs sampled for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation exhibited a tangled shape with no individual dispersed CNT structures.