ENBIS-18 in Nancy

2 – 25 September 2018; Ecoles des Mines, Nancy (France) Abstract submission: 20 December 2017 – 4 June 2018

Exploratory Study on a Statistical Method to Analyse Time Resolved Data Obtained during Nanomaterial Exposure Measurements

4 September 2018, 12:20 – 12:40

Abstract

Submitted by
Frédéric Clerc
Authors
Frédéric Clerc (INRS - assurance maladie), Olivier Witschger (INRS - assurance maladie)
Abstract
Most of the measurement strategies that are suggested at the international level to assess workplace exposure to nanomaterials rely on devices measuring, in real time, airborne particles concentrations (according different metrics). Since none of the instruments to measure aerosols can distinguish a particle of interest from the background aerosol, the statistical analysis of time resolved data requires special attention. So far, very few approaches have been used for statistical analysis in the literature. This ranges from simple qualitative analysis of graphs to the implementation of more complex statistical models. To date, there is still no consensus on a particular approach and the current period is always looking for an appropriate and robust method. In this context, this exploratory study investigates a statistical method to analyse time resolved data based on a Bayesian probabilistic approach. To investigate and illustrate the use of this statistical method, particle number concentration data from a workplace study that investigated the potential for exposure via inhalation from cleanout operations by sandpapering of a reactor producing nanocomposite thin films have been used. In this workplace study, the background issue has been addressed through the near-field and far-field approaches and several size integrated and time resolved devices have been used. The analysis of the results presented here focuses only on data obtained with two handheld condensation particle counters. While one was measuring at the source of the released particles, the other one was measuring in parallel far-field. The Bayesian probabilistic approach allows a probabilistic modelling of data series, and the observed task is modelled in the form of probability distributions. The probability distributions issuing from time resolved data obtained at the source can be compared with the probability distributions issuing from the time resolved data obtained far-field, leading in a quantitative estimation of the airborne particles released at the source when the task is performed. Beyond obtained results, this exploratory study indicates that the analysis of the results requires specific experience in statistics.
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