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  • How to Reduce the Likelihood of Particulates Exposure When 3D Printing?

    views, Updated: 2021-09-30
    From the reference “3D Printing with Filaments: Health and Safety Questions to Ask” published by NIOSH, we can learn that 3D printing work activities bring certain exposure risks. Among them, there is 8 higher potential exposures and 9 lower potential exposures (We list all the potentials for exposures in the article: Could the Work Activity Cause Exposures When 3D Printing? What is the Likelihood of Exposure?). So, What measures should we take to reduce the likelihood of exposure?
    1 Engineering Controls
    • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-filtered local exhaust ventilation placed near printing
    • If concerned about VOCs, add gas and vapor filters to local exhaust ventilation
    • Ventilated enclosure or containment (for example, fume hood)
     • Local exhaust ventilation or ventilated enclosure for post-processing activities involving chemicals (for example, cleaning or spray painting parts)
    • Ventilated enclosure or downdraft table for cutting and grinding parts during postprocessing
     Note: The measures above apply to all printing stages.
    2 Administrative Controls
    • Incorporate 3D printing into workplace safety plans
    • Develop standard operating procedures and train workers
    • Do not consume food or drinks in work areas
    • Select the lowest printing temperature that achieves the desired product
    • When possible, choose a filament with lower known emission rates
    • Use signs to alert workers of hazards and appropriate actions to protect themselves
    • Restrict access to essential personnel or use remote monitoring
    • Handle and dispose of all ISTE materials (including cleaning materials/gloves) in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations
     Note: The measures above apply to all printing stages.
    3 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    Wear PPE appropriate for the activities around you (for example, a coworker cleaning a printer next to your work station may require you to wear the same PPE level). Follow proper PPE replacement practices. Do not wear PPE outside of work areas. Examples of possible PPE are:
    • Nitrile or chemical resistant gloves
    • Lab coat or coveralls
    • Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields
     Note: The measures above apply to all printing stages.
    If you want to learn more about 3D printing for human health and safety, please view this article: 3D Printing with Filaments: Health and Safety Questions to Ask