Over the last couple of years the number of published studies on occupational exposure to nanomaterials have increased substantially, documenting relevant developments with respect to release and human exposure assessment, exposure modelling, and harmonization and standardization issues. Partly due to lack of harmonization with respect to measurement strategy and data interpretation and reporting, meta-analysis of exposure data is not feasible yet, however, some indications of scenarios with potential for relatively high release and eventually exposure can be observed which enables preliminary mapping of exposure ‘hot spots’. In addition to inhalation exposure during direct handling of nanomaterials, exposure due to resuspension of deposited nanoparticles and its agglomerates have been addressed, as well as the relevance of other exposure routes, e.g. dermal and ingestion exposure.
In view of quantitative risk assessment, actually quantification in terms of biologically relevant dose is still in its infant stage, partly due to the ongoing debate on which metric would represent biologically relevance appropriately and partly due to limitations with respect to personal (size –selective) measurement devices.
The paper will present the state-of-the art and will address recent developments in the topics mentioned above.