Keeping Nano Safe at Work
My latest trend alert about some updates to research and policies surrounding occupational health and safety regarding nanotechnologies.
By Dennis Draeger
Nanotechnologies offer a myriad of benefits and applications with more than 1300 nanotech-enabled consumer products from hair straighteners to cleaning fluids, but they also present several uncertainties and lack extensive regulation. As more products enabled by nanomaterials are released to the market, more workers risk exposure to potentially harmful materials—whether in a lab, a factory, or a construction site. Now, occupational safety and health agencies and researchers are providing more substantial guidance for handling nanomaterials at the workplace.
What is changing?
Researchers and government agencies from around the world are addressing the uncertainties in the work place in different ways. Some types of nanomaterials have been shown to be safe, but others have indicated potential for serious injury. Some agencies are providing guidance on a case by case basis depending on specific criteria for each type of nanomaterial while other agencies are advising a more broad safety…
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