Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2012

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Occupational and Environmental Health

First Advisor

Peters, Thomas

First Committee Member

Anthony, Theresa R

Second Committee Member

O'Shaughnessy, Patrick


In this study, we developed and standardized a sanding method to evaluate the emission of airborne particles from products that contain carbon nanotubes (CNTs) under different conditions, including three types of sandpaper and three sanding disc speed. We also characterized the emission of the airborne particles from one neat epoxy test sample, four CNTs-incorporating test samples with different CNTs loading, and two commercial products. The total number concentration, respirable mass concentration, and particle size number/mass distribution of the emitted particles were calculated and compared, followed by an electron microscopy (EM) analysis. These data suggest that the sanding process can produce substantial quantities of airborne particles. Also, the emission of airborne particles was associated with different test conditions. EM analysis of the airborne particle samples showed embedded CNTs protruding from the outer surface, which was different from CNTs-incorporating bulk material. Our study suggests a potential generation of particles during the life cycle event of sanding. Further studies should be carried out to investigate the potential human health hazard in other life cycle events.


CNTs, Number concentration, Particle, Particle size distribution, Respirable mass concentration, Sanding


vi, 65 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 47-52).


Copyright 2012 Guannan Huang