Emissions and exposure

To generate the knowledge needed to implement Safe(r)-by-design, we assess real world emissions and exposure as well as properties of emitted particles in all stages of the life cycle of a nanomaterial. We are in the forefront when it comes to exposure/emission characterization with advanced state-of-the-art on-line and off-line instrumentation, such as time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometry and electron microscopy.

Project Areas

Workplace exposure

For nano-sized materials, inhalation is the most important exposure route, and workplaces, from small scale laboratories to large industrial producers, the place where emission- and exposure risks are highest. We design and conduct advanced emission- and exposure assessments with high time-resolution, allowing studies of different processes and manufacturing steps. We also use on- and off-line methods for detailed characterization of particle properties. In our aerosol lab facilities we can study mechanisms of emissions and dispersion in a highly controlled environment.

Measuring workplace exposure
Emission measurements during different work tasks using both portable and stationary time-resolved instruments.

Environmental emissions and exposure

Due to the rapid nanotechnology development, the risk of environmental exposure is increasing. The knowledge gaps on effects of this are large, not least in the consumer and end-of-life steps of the lifecycle of a material. Using real-world measurements and model systems like e.g. artificial wetlands, we study how amounts released and material characteristics such as morphology and chemical composition affect the environment.


As an important step towards preventive methods for negative health effects associated with nanoparticle exposure, we study exposure- and effect biomarkers in blood, urine, exhaled breath, and nasal lavage. Detailed chemical characterization of airborne exposure and of related biomarkers is conducted in the well-equipped laboratory of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Key publications

Workplace Emissions and Exposures During Semiconductor Nanowire Production, Post-production, and Maintenance Work. Isaxon, C., Lovén, K., Sivakumar, S., Gudmundsson, A., Messing, M., Pagels, J. & Hedmer, M., Ann Work Expo Health. 2020 Jan 1;64(1):38-54. doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxz088
See article Workplace Emissions and Exposures at the Publisher's site

Comprehensive proteome analysis of nasal lavage samples after controlled exposure to welding nanoparticles shows an induced acute phase and a nuclear receptor, LXR/RXR, activation that influence the status of the extracellular matrix. Ali, N., Ljunggren, S., Karlsson, H. M., Wierzbicka, A., Pagels, J., Isaxon, C., Gudmundsson, A., Rissler, J., Nielsen, J., Lindh, C. H. & Kåredal, M. Clin Proteomics 2018; 15:20. doi: 10.1186/s12014-018-9196-y
See article Compehensive Proteome Analysis at the Publisher's site

Acute respiratory effects and biomarkers of inflammation due to welding-derived nanoparticle aggregates. Dierschke, K., Isaxon, C., Andersson, U. B. K., Assarsson, E., Axmon, A., Stockfelt, L., Gudmundsson, A., Jönsson, B. A. G., Kåredal, M., Löndahl, J., Pagels, J., Wierzbicka, A., Bohgard, M. & Nielsen, J. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2017; 90(5):451-463. doi: 10.1007/s00420-017-1209-z.
See article Acute respiratory effects and biomarkers of inflammation at the Publisher's site

Carbon Nanotube Emissions from Arc Discharge Production: Classifications of Particle Types with Electron Microscopy and Comparison with Direct reading Techniques. Ludvigsson L., Isaxon C., Nilsson P.T., Tinnerberg H., Messing M.E., Rissler J., Skaug V., Gudmundsson A., Bohgard M., Hedmer M., Pagels J. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 1-20 (2016).
Doi: 10.1093/annhyg/mev094
See article Carbon Nanotube Emissions from Arc Discharge Production at the Publisher's site

Detection of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes and Carbon Nanodiscs on Workplace Surfaces at a Small-Scale Producer. Hedmer, M., Ludvigsson, L., Isaxon, C., Nilsson, P., Skaug, V., Bohgard, M., Pagels, J., Messing, M. & Tinnerberg, H. Ann Occup Hyg. 2015; 59(7):836-52. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/mev036.
See article Detection of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes at the Publisher's site

Effects on heart rate variability by artificially generated indoor nano-sized particles in a chamber study. Hagerman, I., Isaxon, C., Gudmundsson, A., Wierzbicka, A., Dierschke, K., Berglund, M., Pagels, J., Nielsen, J., Assarsson, E., Andersson, U. B., Xu, Y., Jönsson, B. A. & Bohgard, M. Atmospheric Environment. 88, p. 165-171 (2014)
See article Effects on heart rate variability at the Publisher's site

Nano-objects emitted during maintenance of common particle generators: direct chemical characterization with aerosol mass spectrometry and implications for risk assessments. Nilsson P.T., Isaxon C., Eriksson A.C., Messing M.E., Ludvigsson L., Rissler J., Medmer M., Tinnerberg H., Gudmundsson A., Deppert K., Bohgard M., Pagels J.H. J. Nanopart. Res 15:2012 (2013) Doi: 10.1007/s11051-013-2012-0
See article Nano-objects emitted during maintenance at the Publisher's site

Key Faculty

Recent Theses

Vilhelm Malmborg, Characteristics of particulate emissions from Low Temperature Combustion and Renewable Fuels, PhD Thesis, Lund University 2020
See Vilhelm Malmborg's thesis at the Research Portal

Linus Ludvigsson, Physical characterization of engineered aerosol particles, PhD Thesis, Lund University 2017
See Linus Ludvigsson's thesis at the Research Portal