Air Sampling FUN: Fine, Ultrafine and Nanoparticles
Peters and his team have devised a novel Nanoparticle Respiratory Deposition (NRD) Sampler, a lightweight, portable personal sampler to be placed within a worker’s breathing zone. The sampler selectively collects particles smaller than 300 nm apart from larger particles with an efficiency that matches their deposition in the respiratory system.
With growing quantities of engineered nanomaterials in the manufacture of hundreds of commercial products, exposure to nanoparticles through inhalation is increasingly viewed as a potentially serious health risk. Exposure to metal-based particles specifically is associated with adverse outcomes that range from lung cancer to Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Tom Peters is an Associate Professor of Industrial Hygiene at The University of Iowa, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. He directs the Industrial Hygiene Program and teaches Control of Occupational Contaminants and Aerosol Technology.
His research group develops novel sampling methods that they then apply to understand and control aerosols in the workplace and the environment. In recent projects, Peters has developed methods to assess airborne engineered nanomaterials apart from background aerosols through activity monitoring with direct-read instruments and computer-controlled single-particle electron microscopy of collected particles.
He also has developed passive sampling techniques to investigate the variability in composition of particles in the atmosphere. He has published numerous papers on the subject of assessing exposures to nanoparticles in workplaces and has recently developed a new chapter entitled “Engineered Nanomaterials” in Patty’s Industrial Hygiene.