A leading European scientist says it’s “quite urgent to understand the exact mechanisms of nanotoxicity and make a classification depending on the mechanism.”
That warning from Dr. Vladimir Baulin of the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain comes with a reminder that radioactivity or x-rays “entered our lives the same way,” but that it took some time before researchers understood how they affected living organisms.
A roundtable discussion Monday morning at the AIHce tackles the subject, “Big Legal and Business Issues in the Small World of Nanotechnology.” Also Monday morning, the Henry F. Smyth, Jr. Award Lecture focuses on “The Challenge of Setting Occupational Exposure Limits for Engineered Nanomaterials.”
Each day millions of workers in the United States use National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certified respirators to reduce exposure to harmful gases, vapors, and particulate hazards. NIOSH has certification, quality assurance, and auditing procedures in place (42 CFR Part 84) that assure purchasers and users that the products they are buying/using have been tested and manufactured to strict standards.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is recommending that occupational exposures to carbon nanotubes and nanofibers be controlled to reduce worker’s potential risk for certain work-related lung effects. NIOSH is the first federal agency to issue recommended exposure levels for this growing industry.
“Working Safely with Nanomaterials” is a new four-page PDF fact sheet published by OSHA. According to the fact sheet: “Workers who use nanotechnology in research or production processes may be exposed to nanomaterials through inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion.