[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 1989

Physical Properties of Aerosols Produced by Dermabrasion

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Wentzell and Robinson) and Surgery (Dr Robinson), Northwestern University Medical School, the Department of Biochemistry, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, and Stat Analysis Corp (Dr Schwartz), and Boelter Associates Inc (Mr Carlson), Chicago, Ill; The Billings (Mont) Clinic (Dr Wentzell); and the Wentzell Research Laboratory, Ruskin, Fla (Mr Wentzell).

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(12):1637-1643. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670240037008

• Medical personnel who perform dermabrasions are exposed to airborne blood and tissue fragments. The safety or hazards of exposure to such aerosols have not been adequately studied. Using scanning electron microscopy, the air density and size distribution of particles produced during dermabrasion were analyzed. Such particles are of sufficient size to allow for access to and retention by mucosal and pulmonary surfaces. Transmission electron microscopy reveals amorphous particles without discernible cell membranes. Commonly used personnel protection standards do not prevent respiration of these particulates. Mathematical estimation of particle size production allows extrapolation of these data to other rotary instrument applications.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:1637-1643)