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Posted: May 15, 2012
New Instrument to Measure Airborne Nanoparticle Size Distribution and Concentration
(Nanowerk News) Companies cannot protect workers from nanoparticle exposure unless first they can
determine there is a potential problem. To date, the size and cost of existing nanoparticle size
measurement instrumentation has been an impediment to routine industrial measurements.
The new NanoScan SMPS Nanoparticle Sizer from TSI Incorporated. is a small, portable instrument
developed to provide an affordable method to measure the size distribution of nanoparticle emissions
in the workplace and in research settings.
Nanotechnology is an active area of scientific research due to the wide variety of commercial
applications. However, nanoparticle emissions, generated from a wide variety of common sources,
are considered a potential indoor/outdoor air quality hazard. Small, lightweight, and battery powered,
the NanoScan SMPS provides real-time nanoparticle size and concentration data. Information on the
size distribution of airborne nanoparticles can help differentiate between nanoparticles from emission
sources and background airborne particulates.
In the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) publication 'Approaches to Safe
Nanotechnology: Managing the Health and Safety Concerns Associated with Engineered
Nanomaterials', a nanoparticle emission assessment technique is described for industrial hygienists
which compares particle number concentration and relative size at the potential emission source to the
background particle number concentrations and particle size. This helps to provide a means for
determining the effectiveness of existing control measures and to discern the potential need for
additional control measures.
"The NanoScan SMPS offers investigators interested in worker exposure an option that was not
previously available: affordable nanoparticle size measurement," said Kathy Erickson, an application
specialist at TSI. "Size information gives them one more piece to the puzzle—helping to differentiate
between potentially harmful engineered nanoparticle emissions, and naturally occurring ultrafine
The NanoScan SMPS is particularly useful for applications that require portability. Occupational
hygiene applications such as work place surveys and point source identification, or research
applications like on-road emission measurements and field studies will benefit from the instrument's
compact design and ease of use. The lower cost of the NanoScan SMPS versus comparable
instruments also opens up the possibility of simultaneous temporal and spatial measurements with
For more information on TSI's NanoScan SMPS, visit: www.tsi.com/NanoScan.
About TSI Incorporated
TSI Incorporated serves a global market by investigating, identifying and solving measurement problems. As
an industry leader in the design and production of precision instruments, TSI partners with research
institutions and customers around the world to set the standard for measurements relating to aerosol
science, air flow, health and safety, indoor air quality, fluid dynamics and biohazard detection. With
headquarters based in the U.S. and field offices throughout Europe and Asia, TSI has established a
worldwide presence in the markets we serve. Every day, our dedicated employees turn research into reality.