What are the health and safety concerns in additive manufacturing?

AM is an exciting new technology, but like any innovation, it comes with potential risks for those working with it. Unfortunately, the AM industry lacks clear health and safety standards, particularly concerning the (nano)particles emitted during the manufacturing process or post-processing of printed parts.

Workers in the AM industry face exposure to various micro and nanoparticles, each with different physicochemical properties and potential hazards. The long-term effects of exposure to these particles are especially concerning, as they can easily interact with and penetrate the lung or skin barriers, leading to possible health issues.

Recognizing the importance of addressing these concerns, the Swedish AM community has developed a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), highlighting occupational health as a top priority. The goal is to proactively manage health risks and ensure the safe and sustainable growth of the AM industry.

To achieve this, NanoSafety2 aims to define (nano)particle emission levels, measure human exposure, and understand the biological mechanisms behind the potential health effects. The core question guiding the NanoSafety2 project is: How can particles found in AM industry influence human health?