2015 Volume 53 Issue 6 Pages 511-516
Nanomaterial particles exhibit a wide range of sizes through the formation of agglomerates/aggregates. To assess nanomaterial exposure in the workplace, accurate measurements of particle concentration and size distribution are needed. In this study, we evaluated the performance of two recently commercialized instruments: a portable scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) (NanoScan, TSI Inc.), which measures particle size distribution between 10 and 420 nm and an optical particle sizer (OPS, TSI Inc.), which measures particle size distribution between 300 and 10,000 nm. We compared the data measured by these instruments to conventional instruments (i.e., a widely used laboratory SMPS and an optical particle counter (OPC)) using nano-TiO2 powder as test aerosol particles. The results showed obvious differences in the size distributions between the new and old SMPSs. A possible reason for the differences is that the cyclone inlet of the new SMPS (NanoScan) acted as a disperser of the weakly agglomerated particles and consequently the concentration increased through the breakup of the agglomerates. On the other hand, the particle concentration and size distributions measured by the OPS were similar to the OPC. When indoor aerosol particles were measured, the size distribution measured by the NanoScan was similar to the laboratory SMPS.