The purpose of the study was to determine the potential for release of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in paint dust. The coatings aerosol resuspension system was developed and used for testing the generation and physical, chemical and morphological properties of paint dust particles from mechanical abrasion (i.e., sanding) of coated wood surfaces. The paint dust emissions from bare and coated wood surfaces with multiple coatings using variable sandpaper grits were evaluated. Substantially higher particle number concentrations were measured for paint dust containing particles in the nano range (particles with aerodynamic diameter less than 100 nm) than those measured for wood dust. The variability of particle number concentration and size distribution of paint dust derived under different conditions indicated that considerable quantities of nanoparticles might be released from mechanical abrasion of painted surfaces that may induce unhealthy exposure conditions. Moreover, spectroscopic and microscopic analysis identified the presence of paint and wood components in paint dust, including titanium dioxide agglomerates that were originally embedded in the paint. The agglomerates were mostly attached to particles with sizes < 100 nm, enabling them to potentially penetrate into the lower respiratory tract. These results demonstrated that the paint dust exposure generation system can provide qualitative and quantitative information on particle emissions and the abundance of nanoparticles from paint sanding in realistic conditions and they may be used to assess occupational and environmental exposures and risks. Furthermore, the prevalence of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in paint dust highlights the potential for exposures of painters and other occupational groups to hazardous paint dust and the need for protective devices and strategies aiming to reduce exposures to nanoparticles.
Authors: Nored AW, Chalbot MG, Kavouras IG. ; Full Source: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene. 2018 Jun 1:0. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2018.1484126. [Epub ahead of print]