Saf Health Work.  2016 Dec;7(4):381-388. 10.1016/

Comparison of Real Time Nanoparticle Monitoring Instruments in the Workplaces

  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Institute of Health and Environment, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Risk Assessment Division, National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.


Relationships among portable scanning mobility particle sizer (P-SMPS), condensation particle counter (CPC), and surface area monitor (SAM), which are different metric measurement devices, were investigated, and two widely used research grade (RG)-SMPSs were compared to harmonize the measurement protocols.
Pearson correlation analysis was performed to compare the relation between P-SMPS, CPC, and SAM and two common RG-SMPS.
For laboratory and engineered nanoparticle (ENP) workplaces, correlation among devices showed good relationships. Correlation among devices was fair in unintended nanoparticle (UNP)-emitting workplaces. This is partly explained by the fact that shape of particles was not spherical, although calibration of sampling instruments was performed using spherical particles and the concentration was very high at the UNP workplaces to allow them to aggregate more easily. Chain-like particles were found by scanning electron microscope in UNP workplaces. The CPC or SAM could be used as an alternative instrument instead of SMPS at the ENP-handling workplaces. At the UNP workplaces, where concentration is high, real-time instruments should be used with caution. There are significant differences between the two SMPSs tested. TSI SMPS showed about 20% higher concentration than the Grimm SMPS in all workplaces.
For nanoparticle measurement, CPC and SAM might be useful to find source of emission at laboratory and ENP workplaces instead of P-SMPS in the first stage. An SMPS is required to measure with high accuracy. Caution is necessary when comparing data from different nanoparticle measurement devices and RG-SMPSs.


condensation particle counter; nanoparticle exposure assessment; relationship; scanning mobility particle sizer; surface area monitor
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