Project 2016–2017

Project title: Generation, protection and health effects of nano-sized dust in the ferroalloy industry (DEMASKUS)

There are tremendous efforts applied in the ferroalloy and SiC industry to control and reduce exposures of the dust generated during the production process. However, despite these control measures, emission of ultrafine dust originating from different production processes may occur.

Today we know very little of the properties of ultrafine dust in the industrial work environment and there is limited information on if or how well modern personal protection equipment provides protection against these particles. Studies of inhalation exposed workers and experimental animals have shown that dust from some manganese-based alloys may accumulate in the central nervous system. There is, however, limited evidence for neuroinflammatory effects of manganese containing fumes.

The project will collect dusts from both the industry and the laboratory, characterize these with special focus on the ultrafine particles and study cellular reactions of cells after exposure in the laboratory. The project is a collaboration between the ferroalloy industry, SiC industry, SINTEF, NTNU, UNN, St. Olavs Hospital and STAMI.
The project is divided in three main work packages (WP):
WP 1: Dust formation mechanisms and kinetics
WP 2: Protection and human behavior
WP 3: Neuroinflammatory health effects (STAMI)

At STAMI focus will be at the potential neuroinflammatory health effects. We aim to establish a human in vitro cell model to study neuroinflammatory responses to the particles provided by WP 1. Special focus will be on particle characterization, toxicity and cellular uptake of the particles, in addition to various cellular and molecular endpoints.

You can find more information and contact persons on the Norwegian website of this research project