The emergence of new manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, and laser cutting or stripping in an industrial environment, exposes workers to significant emissions of ultrafine particles (PUF), nanoparticles (NP) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are harmful to their health. Currently, there is no data on this issue in Quebec. The proposed research program will specifically address the important gaps.
As a first step, a mapping of the exposure of Quebec workers will be done to determine precisely the main parameters to study to limit the exposure of workers. Then, applying the hierarchy of control and prevention measures, we will propose to users practical and inexpensive solutions to put in place to minimize their exposure. By respecting this hierarchy of prevention and risk analysis measures, a reduction in exposure by controlling emissions at source will be offered. Finally, we will focus on the last barricade against NP, PUF and VOCs, personal protective equipment, and especially type 5 protective clothing (coveralls). Measuring and improving the effectiveness of protective clothing against airborne nanoscale particles will be the final step in this program.
The development of new knowledge in relation to these technologies will make it possible to document, control and reduce occupational exposure and to propose solutions in protective gear and equipment.