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Study Examines How to Reduce Nanoparticle Emissions during 3D Printing

On August 30, 2017, Environmental Science & Technology, an American Chemical Society (ACS) publication, published a study entitled “Characterization and Control of Nanoparticle Emission during 3D Printing.” According to the abstract, the study aimed to evaluate particle emission characteristics and to evaluate several control methods used to reduce particle emissions during three-dimensional (3D) printing. Experiments for particle characterization measured particle number concentrations, emission rates, morphology, and chemical compositions under manufacturer-recommended and consistent-temperature conditions with seven different thermoplastic materials in an exposure chamber. Eight different combinations of the different control methods were tested, including an enclosure, an extruder suction fan, an enclosure ventilation fan, and several types of filter media. The nanoparticle emission rate was at least one order of magnitude higher for all seven filaments at the higher consistent extruder temperature than at the lower manufacturer-recommended temperature. The abstract states that among the eight control methods tested, the enclosure with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter had the highest removal effectiveness (99.95 percent) of nanoparticles. The authors’ recommendations for reducing particle emissions include applying a low temperature, using low-emitting materials, and instituting control measures like using an enclosure around the printer in conjunction with an appropriate filter (e.g., HEPA filter) during 3D printing.

©2017 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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About this Author

Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Owner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy...

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Carla Hutton, Bergeson Campbell PC, global regulatory attorney, public health activists lawyer, metals industry legal counsel, Toxic Substances Control Act law
Regulatory Analyst

Since 1996, Carla Hutton has monitored, researched, and written about regulatory and legislative issues that may potentially affect Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) clients. She is responsible for creating a number of monthly and quarterly regulatory updates for B&C's clients, as well as other documents, such as chemical-specific global assessments of regulatory developments and trends. She authors memoranda for B&C clients on regulatory and legislative developments, providing information that is focused, timely and applicable to client initiatives. These tasks have proven invaluable to many clients, keeping them aware and abreast of developing issues so that they can respond in kind and prepare for the future of their business.

Ms. Hutton brings a wealth of experience and judgment to her work in federal, state, and international chemical regulatory and legislative issues, including green chemistry, nanotechnology, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Proposition 65, and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program.

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