Estimation of an Occupational Exposure Limit for Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Manufactured in Korea

국내 일부 다중벽탄소나노튜브의 직업노출기준 추정

  • Kim, Jong Bum (Green School (Graduate School of Energy and Environment), Korea University) ;
  • Kim, Kyung Hwan (Technical Research Center, Doing-il Shimadzu Corp.) ;
  • Choi, Byung-Gil (Bioconvergence Technology Laboratory, Korea Conformity Laboratories (KCL)) ;
  • Song, Kyung Seuk (Bioconvergence Technology Laboratory, Korea Conformity Laboratories (KCL)) ;
  • Bae, Gwi-Nam (Green School (Graduate School of Energy and Environment), Korea University)
  • 김종범 (고려대학교 그린스쿨(에너지환경정책기술대학원)) ;
  • 김경환 (동일시마즈(주) 기술연구소) ;
  • 최병길 (한국건설생활환경시험연구원 바이오융합연구소) ;
  • 송경석 (한국건설생활환경시험연구원 바이오융합연구소) ;
  • 배귀남 (고려대학교 그린스쿨(에너지환경정책기술대학원))
  • Received : 2015.12.07
  • Accepted : 2016.02.22
  • Published : 2016.04.30


With the development of nanotechnology, nanomaterials are used in various fields. Therefore, the interest regarding the safety of nanomaterial use is increasing and much effort is diverted toward establishment of exposure assessment and management methods. Occupational exposure limits (OELs) are effectively used to protect the health of workers in various industrial workplaces. This study aimed to propose an OEL for domestic multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) based on animal inhalation toxicity test. Basic procedure for development of OELs was examined. For OEL estimation, epidemiological study and quantitative risk assessment are generally performed based on toxicity data. In addition, inhalation toxicity data-based no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) and benchmark dose (BMD) are estimated to obtain the OEL. Three different estimation processes (NEDO in Japan, NIOSH in USA, and Baytubes in Germany) of OELs for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were intensively reviewed. From the rat inhalation toxicity test for MWCNTs manufactured in Korea, a NOAEL of $0.98mg/m^3$ was derived. Using the simple equation for estimation of OEL suggested by NEDO, the OEL of $142{\mu}g/m^3$ was estimated for the MWCNT manufacturing workplace. Here, we used test rat and Korean human data and adopted 36 as an uncertainty factor. The OEL for MWCNT estimated in this work is higher than those ($2-80{\mu}g/m^3$) suggested by previous investigators. It may be greatly caused by different physicochemical properties of MWCNT and their dispersion method and test rat data. For setting of regulatory OELs in CNT workplaces, further epidemiological studies in addition to animal studies are needed. More advanced technical methods such as CNT dispersion in air and liquid should be also developed.


Grant : 특화전문대학원연계학연협력

Supported by : 한국과학기술연구원


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