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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 524283, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/524283
Research Article

Workplace Exposure to Titanium Dioxide Nanopowder Released from a Bag Filter System

1EcoPictures Co. Ltd., Seoul 137-865, Republic of Korea
2Research & Business Foundation, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea
3Center for Environment, Health, and Welfare Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791, Republic of Korea
4Green School, Korea University, Seoul 136-713, Republic of Korea
5School of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Republic of Korea
6Center for Materials Architecture, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791, Republic of Korea
7University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-303, Republic of Korea

Received 17 December 2014; Revised 12 March 2015; Accepted 12 March 2015

Academic Editor: Vladimir Murashov

Copyright © 2015 Jun Ho Ji 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.

Abstract

Many researchers who use laboratory-scale synthesis systems to manufacture nanomaterials could be easily exposed to airborne nanomaterials during the research and development stage. This study used various real-time aerosol detectors to investigate the presence of nanoaerosols in a laboratory used to manufacture titanium dioxide (TiO2). The TiO2 nanopowders were produced via flame synthesis and collected by a bag filter system for subsequent harvesting. Highly concentrated nanopowders were released from the outlet of the bag filter system into the laboratory. The fractional particle collection efficiency of the bag filter system was only 20% at particle diameter of 100 nm, which is much lower than the performance of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Furthermore, the laboratory hood system was inadequate to fully exhaust the air discharged from the bag filter system. Unbalanced air flow rates between bag filter and laboratory hood systems could result in high exposure to nanopowder in laboratory settings. Finally, we simulated behavior of nanopowders released in the laboratory using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).