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Contribution of BAuA to the EU-Project POLYRISK: Understanding exposure and toxicity of Micro- and Nano-Plastic contaminants in humans

Project number: F 2530 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2025-03-31


Micro- and nanoplastic particles are often part of the dust found in workplaces. Little is known about the possible health risks of micro- and nanoplastic particles as a result of inhalation exposure, and their characterization and assessment is the subject of the POLYRISK project funded by the European Union under Horizon 2020. Special attention from an occupational health and safety perspective is paid to polymer fibers that break during processing and can release respirable fiber dusts. Such fibrillation has been observed, for example, for fibers made of p-aramid. Within the framework of the project, the BAuA is performing correlative microscopy for substance-related identification of micro- and nanoplastic particles in workplace samples, as a contribution to an adapted measurement strategy for exposure assessment in the workplace. The method developed and used in the BMBF project Carbobreak (F 2476) for characterizing the fracture behavior of carbon fibers under mechanical load is to be applied to plastic-based fibers in order to identify possible fibrillation and derive criteria for application-safe design, e.g. of innovative hybrid materials. The results will be used to apply and expand the scheme for an initial risk assessment of fiber materials (risk banding) developed as part of the BMBF InnoMat.Life project (F 2480).


Unit 4.I.5 "Materials and Particulate Hazardous Substances"

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