Glossary on particles and further links

  • Acceptable risk:
    Below this limit, a risk is accepted; above it, it is tolerated provided measures are observed.
  • Aerosol:
    a mixture of solid and/or liquid particles in a gas (often air)
  • Agglomerate:
    a loose arrangement of primary particles or of aggregates
  • Aggregate:
    a firm arrangement of primary particles (for example resulting from fusion)
  • Amorphous:
    not present in crystal form
  • Benchmark exposure level:
    criterion for evaluation of exposure
  • Biopersistent:
    not biodegradable in the body
  • Carbon nanotubes (CNTs):
    tubular carbon particles the walls of which consist of one or more atomic layers
  • CE conformity:
    compliance of products with the statutory product safety requirements of the EU
  • Differential Mobility Analysing Systems (DMAS)
    A DMAS generally consists of three components:
    (1) The particle charger, which charges the particles predictably as a function of their size;
    (2) the differential electrical mobility classifier (DEMC); and
    (3) the condensation particle counter, which counts the particles classed by size.
  • Epidemiological study:
    scientific study of a cause-effect relationship within a population
  • Fullerene:
    chemical compounds with spherical carbon molecules
  • Graphene:
    Description of a modification of the carbon with two-dimensional structure in which each carbon atom is surrounded by three further carbon atoms, creating a honeycomb pattern
  • Gravimetry:
    measurement by weighing
  • Impaction:
    stripping of particles by impact
  • Layered silicate:
    an important sub-group of the silicate minerals, with a layered structure
  • Microcrystalline substances:
    solids the grain size of which is not visible to the naked eye
  • Mobility equivalent diameter:
    diameter of a sphere with the same mobility as the particle studied with random geometry
  • NanoCommission of the German federal government:
    the German NanoCommission was created in 2006 as a central dialogue committee for the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. It sets out criteria for the provisional assessment of benefits and risks, and formulates essential principles for the responsible handling of nanomaterials.
  • Nanometre (nm):
    one billionth of a metre (10-9 m)
  • Nanoscale:
    on a scale of nanometres
  • NIOSH:
    National Institute for Occupational Health, the US occupational safety and health institute
  • NOEL:
    no observed effect level (referring to the concentration of a substance)
  • OECD:
    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Pelletized:
    present in the form of compact particles
  • PMx:
    aerodynamic diameter of a particle in µm which with a probability of 50% will be collected by measuring apparatus or its sampling head and separated on a filter
  • Respirable dust fraction:
    dust particles which penetrate the deep respiratory tract which is not lined with cilia
  • Tolerable risk:
    risk limit for a risk which is no longer tolerable. Below this limit, a risk is tolerated; above it, it is not tolerable.
  • Ubiquitous:
    omnipresent, occurring everywhere
  • WHO fibre:
    fibre which according to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) corresponds in its carcinogenic effect to asbestos, with the following dimensions:
    • length > 5 µm and
    • diameter < 3 µm and
    • length/diameter ratio > 3:1

External links

Comprehensive information on nanotechnology from further sources (some in German only):


Carsten Möhlmann

Hazardous substances: handling, protective measures

Tel: +49 30 13001-3313
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001