Protecting the Health and Safety of Nanomaterial Workers: A Progress Report

Schulte, Paul A. and Geraci, Charles L.. (2010) Protecting the Health and Safety of Nanomaterial Workers: A Progress Report. In: New England Nanomanufacturing Summit 2010, June 22 - 24, 2010, Lowell, MA. (Unpublished)

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The number of workers involved with the production, use, distribution, and disposal of nanomaterials and nanomaterial-containing products is increasing as are the number of reports of adverse biological effects of engineered nanoparticles in test systems. However, there are still many unanswered questions about their hazard, worker exposure, resulting risk, and means to manage the risk. The presentation will focus on progress toward addressing critical issues in four areas of particular relevance to protecting nanomaterial workers given the current state of knowledge: hazard identification, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and risk management. Regarding hazard identification, there is a coalescing of evidence from animal studies indicating potential hazards from exposure to various types of nanomaterials. The challenge is that most of these findings are based on short-term studies. There is sparse but a growing database on exposure, but specific methods for conducting comprehensive exposure assessments of the nano-manufacturing process are lacking, resulting in an absence of quantitative exposure data. Given limited hazard and exposure data, there have been few published risk assessments and development of recommended occupational exposure limits (OELs) for nanoparticles. Practically no OELs for nanomaterials have been officially promulgated. A precautionary approach to risk management has been advocated by health authorities internationally and there is an array of useful risk management guidance frameworks being proposed, but focused guidance for specific nanomaterial operations and tasks, and the resulting engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and medical surveillance needed for a complete program is lacking.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
InterNano Taxonomy: Environment, Health, and Safety > Occupational Hygiene
Environment, Health, and Safety > Risk Assessment
Collections: National Nanomanufacturing Network Archive > Conferences and Workshops > New England Nanomanufacturing Summit 2010
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Depositing User: Rebecca Reznik-Zellen
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2010 15:23
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2010 14:48

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