- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
A strategic plan and more resources for risk research are needed now in order to ensure safe nano-workplaces today and in the future. That is the conclusion of Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Chief Science Advisor Andrew Maynard in a new article, "Nanotechnology and Safety" just released by Cleanroom Technology magazine. The article is available in the magazine's December 2006 / January 2007 issue and is freely available online: http://www.cleanroom-technology.co.uk
Last year, nanotechnology was incorporated into $30 billion in manufactured goods-a number predicted to grow to $2.6 trillion in annual manufactured goods by 2014. Already, there are almost 400 manufacturer-identified nanotechnology-based consumer products on the market-ranging from computer chips to automobile parts and from clothing to cosmetics and dietary supplements (see: http://www.nanotechproject.org/consumerproducts). By 2015, the National Science Foundation estimates that the nanotechnology sector will employ more than 2 million workers.
But little is known about potential risks in many areas of nanotechnology-including worker exposures. Funding for risk-focused research is a small fraction of what is being spent on nanotechnology commercial applications.
"Because nanotechnology is a way of doing or making things rather than a discrete technology, there will never be a one-solution-fits-all approach for nanotechnology and nanomaterials workplace safety," states Maynard. "That is why the federal government needs to invest a minimum of $100 million over two years in targeted risk research in order to begin to fill in our occupational safety knowledge gaps and to lay a strong, science-based foundation for safe nanotechnology workplaces."
In the short term, because of incomplete information, Maynard stresses the need to supplement good hygiene practices in the workplace with nano-specific knowledge. Until more research data is available, Maynard proposes developing a "control banding" approach to nanotechnology workplace risk-a course of action that is between inaction and banning all nanomaterials as hazardous. This could involve selecting appropriate control approaches based on a nanomaterial "impact index" centered on composition-based hazard, and perturbations associated with their nanostructure-like particle size, shape, surface area and activity, and bulk-size hazard-and on an "exposure index" representing the amount of material used and its "dustiness."
Andrew Maynard is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of aerosol characterization and the implications of nanotechnology to human health and the environment. Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is an initiative launched by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2005. It is dedicated to helping business, government and the public anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology. For more information about the project, log on to http://www.nanotechproject.org.
About Woodrow Wilson International Center
The WilsonCenterNews-L (listserv) was established to disseminate information to the media and the general public about upcoming events at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
For more information, please click here
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Outreach & Communications
1300 Penn. Ave., NW,8th Floor
Washington, DC 20004
Copyright © Woodrow Wilson International CenterIf you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015
MIPT researchers put safety of magic anti-cancer bullet to test April 6th, 2015
To Conserve London's 300-Year-Old Masterpiece, Nanotech & Drones April 12th, 2015
2015 Nanonics Image Contest January 29th, 2015
OCSiAl supports NanoART Imagery Contest January 23rd, 2015