The NIOSH nanotechnology research program: meeting the challenge for a safer workplace

Nanotechnology has the potential to transform many industries, from medicine to manufacturing, and the products they produce. Research in nanoscale technologies continues to expand worldwide. While this emerging technology holds great promise, it also presents unknown risks, especially to the health of workers. Health, safety and environmental issues continue to be high priority areas to be addressed during the commercialisation of nano-materials or the manufacturing of nano-enabled products. Facilities engaged in the manufacturing or use of engineered nano-materials, specifically nano-particles, is concerned if their processes present any potential risk because of worker exposure or release to the environment. Many questions remain about how to best manage and control the potential hazards associated with the safe handling of nano-materials. Occupational safety and health issues of nano-materials are complex. The types of nano-materials and the opportunities for workplace exposure to them continue to grow rapidly. The challenge is to effectively address the safety and health issues of nanotechnology while helping society realise nano-technologies far-reaching potential benefits. A basic risk management model could be applied to processes making or using nano-materials to reduce the potential for incidents or occurrences that lead to risk.

Author: Geraci, Charles L., Jr. ;Full Source: AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, Nov. 7-12, 2010 [computer optical disk] 2010, a297/1-a297/4 (Eng) ;