There is a great deal of concern about the health effects of nanoparticles emitted unintentionally into the air, largely from combustion processes. For example, the 500% increase in respiratory illness and allergies in the UK has been associated in part with particles emitted by diesels and other combustion processes.
Focus has been on diesel emissions (predominantly the effects of Nitrous oxide and Nitrogen dioxide) , but attention is turning to other potential sources such as power generation, incineration, nuclear power generation and aircraft emissions. The US EPA is becoming increasingly concerned about gasoline engine emissions. Data on exposure, and sources of nanoparticle sizes, number and composition would be the basis of developing standards and emissions regulations.
Investigation of these effects has been hampered by inadequate instrumentation which can only measure in the micro range. The cost, inconvenience and lack of robustness of some existing instruments means they cannot easily be deployed so their application in this area is limited. The insights from the studies on exposure and links to health risks are therefore limited.
Products that are relevant for environmental monitoring:
The Aero Select is a wide-range sampler and is unique in that it spans the entire aerosol range from 2nm up to 20μm. Particles are collected simultaneously using both inertial deposition and diffusion, and separated into 12 size channels.
A companion product for the Aero Select, the MR250 is used to determine mass-size distributions quickly, eliminating the need for laboratory gravimetrical analysis. The mass reader uses the light scattering characteristics of aerosol particles to quantify the masses of samples taken with the Aero Select in the size range of 0.25 to 35µm.