Nanomaterials present new OSH questions
Nanotechnology is transforming many industries, including construction. Nanomaterials are incredibly small - between 1 to 100 nanometers or about a million times smaller than the length of an ant. At this size, materials can take on new properties.
“Adding nanomaterials or making changes at this tiny size can transform familiar construction materials into concrete that conducts electricity, glass that cleans itself, and coatings that cut smog,” said Pete Stafford, Executive Director of the Center for Construction Research & Training (CPWR). “But we are only beginning to understand the possible hazards for workers who handle these materials.
“That’s why CPWR has created eLCOSH NANO. Visitors to the site -- affiliated with the popular electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health (eLCOSH) -- can learn more about nanomaterials used in their trade and access additional information, including training and guidance documents.”
Stafford said CPWR is moving forward with additional research on nanomaterial exposure risks in the construction industry. The center also offers a pocket-sized Hazard Alert brochure with the best known information on the hazard and how to reduce potential risks. If you would like copies of the Alert to distribute in a safety training class or toolbox talk, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to include your postal address and quantity of brochures you need.