Global safety science organisation, UL has announced partnerships with Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health to study the impact of 3D printing on indoor air quality.
Expected for completion in 2016, the research is designed to scientifically characterise chemical and particle emissions of 3D printing technologies and to evaluate their potential impact on human health. Outcomes of the research include scientific characterisation of the emissions and establishment of defined methodologies for analytical measurement, and assessment of human exposure risks.
The two-year research project is being conducted in two phases. The first phase, which is being led by Rodney Weber, Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Tech, is defining the appropriate analytical measurement and risk evaluation methodologies for characterising and assessing particle and chemical emissions from 3D printing technologies. The second phase, conducted by The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory, will assess potential health hazards from exposure to the emissions.
This study is one of numerous Underwriters Laboratories Inc initiatives dedicated to evaluating the impact of indoor pollution sources on human health and enabling steps toward achieving safe living, working and learning environments.
“Our 3D printing research underscores the critical convergence of chemical, environmental and human health safety, expanding the safety paradigm beyond the exploration of traditional fire, shock and casualty criteria,” said Dr. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. “This study is part of UL Inc.’s commitment to share knowledge that helps make products safer to operate, safer for the environment and safer for societal health and well-being.”
Significant progress has been made by UL Inc and Georgia Tech thus far in developing the methodology to measure and characterise particle and gaseous emissions from 3D printers. The risk assessment studies with Emory University are expected to begin in 2016.