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This page provides links to a variety of information regarding the measurement, control, exposure characterization and health effects associated with aerosols in the workplace. The definition of an aerosol, as used here, is a suspension of tiny particles or droplets in the air, such as dusts, mists, or fumes. These particles may be inhaled or absorbed by the skin, and can sometimes cause adverse heath effects for workers. NIOSH has carried out extensive research to minimize the adverse health effects associated with aerosol exposures. Results of such research are available through the links on this page.

NIOSH Aerosol Research

NIOSH Aerosol Research Overview
Provides an overview of ongoing aerosol-related research projects in the field and in NIOSH laboratories.

List of Active internal NIOSH research projects related to aerosols

External NIOSH research projects related to aerosols may be found several ways:

Aerosol Research Gaps
NIOSH researchers have developed a prioritized list of research and policy needs, and identified areas where they are looking for opportunities to collaborate with external research partners, scientists, and organizations. 

Aerosol Sampling

Cyclone Bioaerosol Sampler
While looking for ways to improve the collection and analysis of bioaerosols, a NIOSH scientist has developed a new design for a cyclone bioaerosol sampler. A cyclone sampler draws air into a cylindrical chamber where the air flow is rotated. Particles of a sufficiently large size move toward the walls of the chamber by centrifugal force, where they are collected.


NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.

Selected Query Results:

  • Aerosols, Sampling and Measurement
  • Aerosol Exposure
  • Aerosols, Control, Filtration, Ventilation
  • Aerosols and Health Effects

  • Aerosol 101: Helpful Tutorials

    Generation and Behavior of Airborne Particles (Aerosols)
    this document in PDF PDF only 347 KB (40 pages)
    PowerPoint presentation providing an introductory overview of aerosol mechanics.

    Disclaimer: The following links in this section go to web sites outside of CDC/NIOSH and should not be considered as an official endorsement of their content, or as a statement of NIOSH policy.

    Aerosol Science & Engineering
    This interactive program is designed for aerosol science and engineering education at the introductory level. It was created by the University of Florida and Washington University in St. Louis through the support of National Science Foundation Grant.
    External link:

    Optical Particle Counter screenshot
    Optical Particle Counter
    Respiratory diagram
    Respiratory Deposition

    Learning About Cyclones

    Aerosol Dictionary
    Provides a variety of information on aerosol instrumentation, terminology, more...
    External link:

    Aerosol Short Course
    Brochure describing the annual 3-day seminar offered by the University of Minnesota.
    External link:

    NIOSH Resources

    Hazard Control 30: Control of Drywall Sanding Dust Exposures
    DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99–113
    This document details several methods to control exposure to high concentrations of dusts from sanding drywall joint compound.

    Handbook for Dust Control in Mines
    DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-147
    Describes effective methods for the control of mineral dusts in mines.

    NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM)
    DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-113 (1994)
    NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.

    NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
    DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-140
    Exposure limits, Respirator Recommendations, First Aid, more...
    The Pocket Guide is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes found in the work environment. Key data provided for each chemical/substance includes name (including synonyms/trade names), structure/formula, CAS/RTECS Numbers, DOT ID, conversion factors, exposure limits, IDLH, chemical and physical properties, measurement methods, personal protection, respirator recommendations, symptoms, and first aid.

    National Occupational Research Agenda - Emerging Technologies
    The NORA Emerging Technologies Team is working to establish mechanisms to ensure that worker health and safety is considered when new technologies are developed and implemented

    Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS)
    RTECS is a compendium of toxicological information extracted from the open scientific literature.

    Related NIOSH Topics

  • Air Quality (Indoor)
  • Anthrax
  • Asbestos
  • Asphalt
  • Dust (Silicosis)
  • Fighting Wildfires
  • Infectious Aerosols
  • Lung Disease (Pneumoconioses)
  • Lung Disease (Silicosis)
  • Metal working fluids
  • Nanotechnology
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pesticides
  • Pneumoconioses
  • Respirators
  • Respiratory Disease Surveillance
  • SARS
  • Silica/Silicosis
  • Ventilation in Mining
  • Other Resources / Organizations

    Disclaimer: The following links in this section go to web sites outside of CDC/NIOSH and should not be considered as an official endorsement of their content, or as a statement of NIOSH policy.

    Aerosol-related links page.
    External link:

    Aerosol Calculator
    A downloadable spreadsheet for calculating aerosol properties and behaviors.
    External link:

    CIIT (Centers for Health Research) 
    A source for the multiple path particle dosimetry model.
    External link:

    ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) 
    A source for lung deposition modeling software. 
    External link:

    NRC Report 
    Research priorities for particulate matter
    External link:

    National Nanotechnology Initiative  
    A U.S. government initiative to organize nanotechnology research, started in 2001
    External link:

    The Particle Atlas 
    A collection of electron micrographs of many typical aerosol particles
    External link:

    Particulate Matter Research Activities 
    This website is being developed to assist in particulate matter research, and to support the activities of the National Research Council Committee on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter. The site is run by HEI and EPA, but covers industry and academia as well as government activities.
    External link:


    Aerosol Science & Technology
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene
    Atmospheric Environment
    Atomization and Sprays

    Journal of Aerosol Research, Japan

    Journal of Aerosol Science
    Journal of Aerosols in Medicine
    Journal of the Air Waste Management Association
    Journal of Colloid and Interface Science

    Journal of Nanoparticle Research
    Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

    Environmental Science and Technology

    Particle & Particle Systems Characterization

    Particulate Science and Technology
    Powder Technology

    Page last updated: October 31, 2008
    Page last reviewed: August 13, 2008
    Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Division of Applied Research and Technology


    miners drilling rock, dust cloud

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