Exposure to nanoparticles during asphalt paving of photocatalytic asphalt pavements

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Conference Proceeding

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Recent epidemiologic studies suggest that nanoparticles or ultrafine particles are correlated with negative health impacts, including adverse pulmonary and cardiovascular effects. Nanoparticle concentration, particle size, surface area, elemental composition, and surface morphology are all pertinent to comprehend the associated risks. Despite this, there are few studies quantifying and characterizing the nanoparticle exposure necessary for proper risk assessments, especially from the construction industry. As a result, the aim of this study was to quantify and characterize nanoparticle exposure to construction workers during asphalt paving activities for an emerging asphalt pavement: photocatalytic asphalt pavement using TiO2 engineered nanoparticles capable of reducing traffic emissions. Results were compared to nanoparticle exposure of conventional asphalt binder to identify if there is an increase in potential risks. The exposure was measured using the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer, which provides the size distribution, surface area, mass, and particle concentrations. Particles were also collected for offline characterization using Transmission Electron Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy for further evidence of particle size, morphology, and chemical composition. Positive identification of the source of these nanoparticles was not possible and requires further research, which was out of the scope of this study.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

62nd IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012

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