September 29, 2021

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Retention and Secondary Exposure Status of Nanoparticle Contaminants on Personal Protective Clothing


Candace Tsai


Candace Tsai, MS, ScD, CIH
Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA

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About the lecture: In this study, we investigated engineered nanoparticle (ENP) release associated with the contamination of personal protective clothing during the simulated motion of the worker wearing the ENP-contaminated protective clothing and evaluated the relative ENP retention on the fabric. The release of airborne ENPs can contribute to inhalation exposure, which is the route of exposure of most concern to cause adverse health effects in the pulmonary system. The evaluation focuses on four popular fabric materials making the laboratory coats (cotton, polypropylene, polyester/cotton blend, and Tyvek®) and three types of ENPs (Al2O3, carbon black and CNT). The magnitudes of particle contamination and resuspension were investigated by measuring the number concentration increase of airborne particles in sizes of 10 nm to 10 μm and the weight changes on fabric pieces. Collected aerosol particles and contaminated fabric surfaces were further characterized for understanding particle morphology, elements, agglomeration and surface contamination status. The particle resuspension from contaminated lab coat fabric was found to vary by the type of fabric material. Tyvek® fabric was determined as the best fabric for trapping Al2O3 and carbon black ENPs indicating less resuspension of particles, but not durable enough to wear for the long term compared with other fabrics.

About the speaker: Dr. Candace Tsai is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). She has more than 18 years of post-educational experiences in the field of industrial hygiene and engineering in both her academic and industrial career. She is a Board Member of Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization; she serves for the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) as a voting committee member for the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances (TLV-CS) ACGIH TLV committee. Dr. Tsai received her Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in cleaner production and Master of Science in Management Science degree both from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and earned her Master of Science in Chemical Engineering degree in Taiwan.

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