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A Novel Device for Measuring Respirable Dustiness Using Low Mass Powder Samples
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    Respirable dustiness represents the tendency of a powder to generate respirable airborne dust during handling and therefore indicates the propensity for a powder to become an inhalation hazard. The dustiness of 14 powders, including 10 different nanopowders, was evaluated with the use of a novel low-mass dustiness tester designed to minimize the use of the test powder. The aerosol created from 15-mg powder samples falling down a tube were measured with an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS). Particle counts integrated throughout the pulse of aerosol created by the falling powder were used to calculate a respirable dustiness mass fraction (D, mg/kg). An amorphous silicon dioxide nanopowder produced a respirable D of 121.4 mg/kg, which was significantly higher than all other powders (p < 0.001). Many nanopowders produced D values that were not significantly different from large-particle powders, such as Arizona Road Dust and bentonite clay. In general, fibrous nanopowders and powders with primary particles >100 nm are not as dusty as those containing granular, nano-sized primary particles. The method used here, incorporating an APS, represents a deviation from a standard method but resulted in dustiness values comparable to other standard methods.

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    P30 ES005605/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    P30 ES05605-11/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    R01 OH008806-01/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
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