Contribution of BAuA to the EU-Project HARMLESS
Depending on whether and how a material generates dust, there is a risk that particles will be inhaled by employees during the work process. This exposure potential therefore has to be taken into account in risk assessments.
In recent years, a variety of special test methods have been developed for the risk assessment of fibrous materials. Both the methods and the data generated differ in terms of their quality, metrics, and other characteristics, which makes the direct comparison and evaluation of results difficult.
The HARMLESS project, funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, is developing a flexible approach to the chemical assessment process that allows data from different measurement methods to be evaluated together (Integrated Approach to Testing and Assessment, IATA). The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA) will characterize the powders of a range of fibrous test materials by applying the Fluidizer dustiness test, which has been developed in-house at BAuA and in which particles are released by powder agitation and a traversing airflow.
The evaluation matrix originally developed for nanoscale fibres to determine their risk potential will be adapted for all types of fibrous materials on the basis of the IATAs that are devised. It will also be possible to use the matrix for the identification of material properties that can be modified to reduce the health risk for workers ("safer by design").
Unit 4.5 "Particulate Hazardous Substances, Advanced Materials"