The LightMe Project aims to establish a self-sustaining open innovation ecosystem for upscaling industrial processes concerning light metal alloys (aluminum, magnesium and titanium) composed of TRL 4, or from 5 to TRL 7.
The properties of nanomaterials (NMs) differ from their micro and macro (bulk) counterparts. These differences are due to the specific physical and chemical characteristics of NMs, and that will lead to uncertainties about their behavior when interacting with the human body, or with
the environment. Although NMs are becoming a promising application and have the potential to grow much larger, the associated health and environmental risks still remain far from known.
ISQ’s contribution in the LightMe project aims to assess the potential risks to inhalation of nanomaterials by operators during the process in the pilot lines: (LPDC-OGI), (HPDCUBRUN), (GSC-OGI), (MWAM-AIMEN), direct (Borealis-IRIS), (SPS/KOBO-INOP).
Additionally, control measures aimed at mitigating the risks identified in each pilot line are recommended.
The harmonized tiered approach was adopted for an economic risk assessment of the LightMe pilot lines. At Tier 1, an initial risk assessment aims to gather information related to the hazards of nanomaterials and the potential for exposure associated with manufacturing processes, workplaces and existing local control measures.
This data is then used as an input into nano-specific Control Banding tools (ISO/TS 12901-2, 2014, Stoffenmanager-nano) that allow obtaining hazard and exposure classes. These classes are applied to a control band matrix to obtain recommendations on control approach
control. If the potential release of nanomaterials cannot be reasonably excluded by implementing the recommended control actions, Layer 2 should be performed. In Tier 2, a visit to the pilot line is required for a quantitative exposure assessment by monitoring the manufacturing process and associated tasks and background (emission of nanomaterials from external sources) using a multi-metric approach.
Final risk control recommendations are then proposed for each pilot line.
LightMe’s 6 pilot lines underwent an initial risk assessment (Tier 1) and preliminary risk control measures were proposed. A qualitative exposure assessment (Tier 2) should be performed if the results of Tier 1 point to a possible release of nanomaterial during the process.
In-situ monitoring of pilot lines has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the HPDC-UBRUN and SPS/KOBO-INOP pilot lines are still being monitored. Recommendations to control exposure have already been proposed for (GSC-OGI), (LPDC-OGI) and (Borealis-IRIS).