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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

On-line version ISSN 1989-7790Print version ISSN 0465-546X


VEIGA-ALVAREZ, Álvaro et al. Health risks and recommendations on handling nanoparticles at workplaces. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2015, vol.61, n.239, pp.143-161. ISSN 1989-7790.

The increasing production of nanomaterials in recent years has led to the appearance of pathologies, often lung diseases, associated with the exposure to nanoparticles (NPs), released naturally or during industrial processes. These ones can penetrate the respiratory system and deposit in the alveoli. Thus they spread through the circulatory system and reach various organs, inducing diseases. The main mechanism involved in the pathology appearance is related to the production of free radicals and interference of NPs with cell metabolism. It is necessary to develop more studies aimed to determine possible adverse health effects as well as tools for establishing reliable limit's values for both occupational and general population exposure. Currently, simplified models of qualitative risk evaluation are used, both non-specific for nanomaterials (ConsExpo) as well as specific (control banding tools). The recommendations and preventive measures established for handling and managing chemical waste, fumes, aerosols and sprays, appear to be helpful in handling nanoparticles.

Keywords : Nanoparticles; nanomaterials; ultrafine particles; health; risks; labor; labour; work; occupational; prevention; toxicology; pollution; environmental.

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