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April 8th, 2006
"We have very little data to make any kind of informed societal decisions about how to deal with nanomaterials in the workplace," said Paul Schulte, the director of education and information at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). That is why a swarm of NIOSH scientists recently spent the better part of a week at Altair with nearly a ton of equipment for measuring worker exposures to nanoparticles.
Altair was not in trouble -- far from it. The inspection was at the invitation of the company's chief executive, Alan Gotcher. Unlike many of his corporate peers, who have kept their heads down amid a flurry of questions about what, exactly, they are making and how they are assuring worker safety, Gotcher thinks the industry should share what it knows about nanotech manufacturing methods and safety strategies.
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