Chemical Emissions from Cured and Uncured 3D-Printed Ventilator Patient Circuit Medical Parts

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Date of Original Version



Medical shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic saw numerous efforts to 3D print personal protective equipment and treatment supplies. There is, however, little research on the potential biocompatibility of 3D-printed parts using typical polymeric resins as pertaining to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have specific relevance for respiratory circuit equipment. Here, we measured VOCs emitted from freshly printed stereolithography (SLA) replacement medical parts using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and infrared differential absorption spectroscopy, and particulates using a scanning mobility particle sizer. We observed emission factors for individual VOCs ranging from ∼0.001 to ∼10 ng cm-3 min-1. Emissions were heavily dependent on postprint curing and mildly dependent on the type of SLA resin. Curing reduced the emission of all observed chemicals, and no compounds exceeded the recommended dose of 360 μg/d. VOC emissions steadily decreased for all parts over time, with an average e-folding time scale (time to decrease to 1/e of the starting value) of 2.6 ± 0.9 h.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

ACS Omega