Nanotechnology Safety : Nanotechnology Safety Safety Notes on an Emerging Technology Slide 2: “…our machines are evolving faster than we are. Within a few decades they seem likely to surpass us. Unless we learn to live with them in safety, our future will likely be both exciting and short.” Eric Drexler “Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology.” 1986 What you will learn in this module : What you will learn in this module What is nanotechnology
Safety measures Note: This symbol means a hyperlink exist. Nanotechnology Company Locations : Nanotechnology Company Locations U.S. Nanotechnology Company Locations : U.S. Nanotechnology Company Locations Type of Nanotechnology Businesses : Type of Nanotechnology Businesses Nanotechnology Funding : Nanotechnology Funding How many people work in nanotecholgy? : How many people work in nanotecholgy? In the U.S., an estimated 2 million people work with nanometer-diameter particles on a regular basis in development , production and use of nanomaterials or products.
[BLS, 2000] What is Nanotechnology? : What is Nanotechnology? Simply stated, it is the world of the very small things, such as molecules and atoms. nano = dwarf Greek English How small is “Nano”? It is REALLY small. : The “Milli” world
Millimeter – the width of the
head of a pin The “Macro” World
Think of a child 5 feet tallwhich is about 1.5 meters. How small is “Nano”? It is REALLY small. 5 feet = 1.5 meters 1.5 millimeters To get to the Milliworld divide 1 meter by 1,000 ÷ 1,000 How small is “Nano”? Extremely tiny. : The “Micro” World
Micrometer - the diameter of
microchips and red blood cells How small is “Nano”? Extremely tiny. The “Nano” world
Nanometer – the diameter of
atoms and molecules To get to the Nanoworld divide 1 micrometer by 1,000 To get to the Microworld divide 1 millimeter by 1,000 ÷ 1,000 ÷ 1,000 How small is Nano? : How small is Nano? A picture of the nano world
Using the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), electron formations can be viewed. Above, electrons are surrounded by 48 iron atoms, individually positioned with the same STM used to image them. The image was created and colorized at the IBM Almaden research laboratory in California We have already divided 1 meter 1 billion times to get to the Nano World What is nanotechnology? : What is nanotechnology? While many definitions for nanotechnology exist, the National Nanotechnology Initiative calls it "nanotechnology" only if it involves all of the following:1. Research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer range.2. Creating and using structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size.3. Ability to control or manipulate on the atomic scale. Medical researchers work at the micro- and nano-scales to develop new drug delivery methods, therapeutics and pharmaceuticals. For instance, DNA, our genetic material, is in the 2.5 nanometer range, while red blood cells are approximately 2.5 micrometers. Products of nanotechnology : Products of nanotechnology Ordinary materials such as carbon or silicon, when reduced to the nanoscale, often exhibit new and unpredictable characteristics such as:
- extraordinary strength,
- chemical reactivity,
- electrical conductivity,
or other characteristics that the same material does not possess at the micro or macro-scale. Products of Nanotechnology : Products of Nanotechnology Nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes are extremely small, thin, hollow cylinders structure formed by rolling up seamlessly a single layer of graphite (carbon) Nanotubes can be either multiwall tubes or single-wall tubes, having one single shell.
Carbon nanotubes (CNT) come in a variety of lengths and diameters. The length can be from approximately 100 nanometers to several microns and the diameters vary from 1 to 20 nanometers.
CNT can be metallic or semiconducting and offers amazing possibilities to create future nanoelectronics devices, circuits, and computers. The commercial cost of 1 gram of single-wall nanotubes is $375 Products of Nanotechnology : Products of Nanotechnology Buckyballs
Buckyballs are graphite (carbon) sheets rolled into a ball.
Buckyballs also exist in interstellar dust and in geological formations on Earth. So while they are new to science they are reasonably common in nature.
Buckyballs are extremely stable and can withstand very high temperatures and pressures. The carbon atoms of buckyballs can react with other atoms and molecules, leaving the stable, spherical structure intact.
Researchers are interested in creating new molecules by adding other molecules to the outside of a buckyball and also in the possibility of trapping smaller molecules inside a buckyball. Commercial Applications : Nanotechnologies are gaining
in commercial applications.
Nanoscale materials are
currently being used in:
magnetic and optoelectronic,
materials applications. Commercial Applications Commercial Applications : Commercial Applications Areas producing the greatest
revenue for nanoparticles
reportedly are chemical-
mechanical polishing, magnetic
recording tapes, sunscreens,
automotive catalyst supports,
coatings and optical fibers. Commercial Applications : Commercial Applications Additional products, available today, that benefit from the unique properties of nanoscale materials, include:• Step assists on vans • Bumpers on cars• Paints and coatings to protect against corrosion, scratches and radiation• Protective and glare-reducing coatings for eyeglasses and cars• Metal-cutting tools• Sunscreens and cosmetics• Longer-lasting tennis balls• Light-weight, stronger tennis racquets• Stain-free clothing and mattresses • Dental-bonding agent• Burn and wound dressings• Ink• Automobile catalytic converters. Health Hazards of Nanoparticles : Health Hazards of Nanoparticles Many industries have jobs where workers handle nanoparticle materials to produce many consumers’ items.
Nanoparticles can enter the body by:
penetration through the skin
Complete information about health effects is lacking. Health Effects: Many questions, not many answers. : Health Effects: Many questions, not many answers. In what ways might employees be exposed to nanomaterials in manufacture and use?
In what ways might nanomaterials enter the body during those exposures?
Once in the body, where would the nanomaterials travel, and how would they interact physiologically and chemically with the body’s systems?
Will those interactions be harmless, or could they cause acute or chronic adverse effects?
What are appropriate methods for measuring and controlling exposures to nanometer-diameter particles and nanomaterials in the workplace? www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech Health Risk Studies : These six federal agencies are conducting studies of potential health risks of nanomaterials:
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (including the National Toxicology Program);
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH);
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
The Department of Defense;
The Department of Energy (DOE);
The National Science Foundation (NSF)
In addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is supporting this work through the development of relevant standards. Health Risk Studies Possible Health Effects : Inhalation
Pulmonary inflammatory reaction
Persistent inflammation is likely to lead to diseases such as fibrosis and cancer. Thus it is important to control inflammation. This can be done if we can:
- (i) determine the critical dose of particles that initiates inflammation and
- (ii) set exposure limits, according to the relevant metric, so that such a dose cannot be reached within a lifetime exposure scenario. Possible Health Effects Possible Health Effects : Ingestion
Nanoparticles can be swallowed and therefore available for transfer to other body organs via the gastro-intestinal compartment.
There is also some evidence that smaller particles can be transferred more readily than their larger counterparts across the intestinal wall (Behrens et al; 2002).
Little is currently known about the health effects of nanoparticles on the liver and kidneys as well as the correct metric for describing the nanoparticle dose in these organs.
Another area which merits further research is the transfer of nanoparticles across the placenta barrier. Exposure to nanoparticles during the critical window of fetal development may lead to developmental damage in the offspring. Possible Health Effects Possible Health Effects : Dermal exposure
Harmful effects arising from skin exposure may either occur locally within the skin or alternatively the substance may be absorbed through the skin and disseminated via the bloodstream, possibly causing systemic effects.
Dermal absorption of ultrafine particles (nanoparticles) has not been well investigated and suggested that ultrafine particles may penetrate into hair follicles where constituents of the particles could dissolve in the aqueous conditions and enter the skin. Direct penetration of the skin has been reported by Tinkle et al (2003) for particles with a diameter of 1000 nm, much larger than nanoparticles.
It is reasonable to postulate that nanoparticles are more likely to penetrate, but this has not yet been demonstrated. Several pharmaceutical companies are believed to be working on dermal penetration of nanoparticles as a drug delivery route. Possible Health Effects Possible Health Effects : In conclusion:
Scientific evidence, so far, has demonstrated that particle surface area and surface reactivity is likely to be the metric of choice to describe the inflammatory reaction to deposited particles in the proximal alveolar region of the lung.
For nanoparticles, their potential dispersal to other organs as well as the possibility of exposure by other routes such as dermal or ingestion mean that possible health risks beyond the lung cannot be ruled out.
Further research to generate vital data on the possible mode action of nanoparticles in the extra-pulmonary system is needed in order to assess realistically the health risks to nanoparticle exposure. Possible Health Effects Hazardous exposures : Welding can generate large quantities of nanoparticles usually in the form of a well defined plume of aggregated
Particles in the nanometer size range are also produced in large quantities in diesel engine exhaust and from domestic activities such as gas cooking. Hazardous exposures Some exposure to nanoparticles is not new Hazardous Exposures : Nanometer sized particles are also found in the atmosphere where they originate from combustion sources (traffic, forest fires), volcanic activity, and from atmospheric gas to particle conversion processes such as photochemically driven nucleation.
In fact, nanoparticles are the end product of a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological processes, some of which are novel and radically different, others of which are quite commonplace. Hazardous Exposures Hazardous Exposures : There is a lack of information concerning the human health and environmental implications of manufactured nanomaterials and concerns have been expressed regarding potential risks to health which might arise during their manufacture, use and disposal (e.g. DG Sanco 2004).
This report also stated that the “biological activity of nanoparticles – including potential adverse as well as beneficial effects - tends to increase as their size decreases”. Hazardous Exposures Hazardous Exposures : Hazardous Exposures For nanomaterials, current research suggests that mass and bulk chemistry may be less important than particle size, surface area and surface chemistry (or activity) as the most relevant parameters for measurements.
NIOSH is evaluating potential methods and technologies for measuring exposures to airborne nanomaterials, such as instruments that measure particle number and surface area. Hazardous Exposures : Hazardous Exposures Methods used for the commercial or deliberate manufactures of nanoparticles may be divided in four main groups:
Gas phase processes including flame pyrolisis, high temperature evaporation and plasma synthesis.
Vapor deposition synthesis.
Colloidal or liquid phase methods in which chemical reactions in solvents lead to the formation of colloids.
Mechanical processes (attrition methods) including grinding, milling and alloying. Carbon black, fumed silica, silver, gallium, iron, plasma jet, alumina suspensions, etc. Hazardous Exposures : Hazardous Exposures HSE. Nanoparticles: An occupational hygiene review. Report 274. 2004 Control of Nanoparticles : The following section presents some general steps and strategies to keep workers protected.
Since there is a lack of assessment of exposures to nanoparticles, the following guidelines cannot yet be considered definitive means to guarantee a work environment free of nanoparticles. Control of Nanoparticles Control of Nanoparticles : As in any hazardous exposure to chemicals, a good health and safety management approach should include these four elements:
Identify the hazard
Asses the risk
Prevent or control the risk
Evaluate the effectiveness of control measures Control of Nanoparticles Control of Nanoparticles : Total enclosure of the process
Partial enclosure with
local exhaust ventilation
Local exhaust ventilation
Limitation of number of workers and exclusion of others Control of Nanoparticles Reduction in periods of
Regular cleaning of
walls and other surfaces
Use of suitable personal protective equipment
Prohibition of eating
and drinking in contaminated areas Strategies to control exposure to nanoparticles: Control of Nanoparticles : Control of Nanoparticles Exposure by inhalation
Install similar engineering controls used to control gases and vapors:
Local exhaust ventilation
On-gun extraction in welding Control of Nanoparticles : Control of Nanoparticles Exposure by inhalation:
Filtration plays an important role in the control of exposure to airborne particles.
- High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) are mechanical filters used in engineering control systems to clean the air before returning it to the workplace. Control of Nanoparticles : Control of Nanoparticles Exposure by inhalation
- Filtering respirators or air supplied respirators may be used as a last option to control exposure to nanoparticles.
Probably the efficiency will be high for all but the smallest nanoparticles (less than 2 nanometers).
The respirator must fit properly to prevent leakage. The white powder around the nostrils shows that this mask did not have a tight fit. Control of Nanoparticles : Control of Nanoparticles Skin penetration may occur mainly in the later stages of the process, recovery or surface contamination.
Some evidence shows that nanoparticles penetrate into the inner layers of the skin and possibly beyond, into the blood circulation. Skin Exposure Control of Nanoparticles : Control of Nanoparticles Skin exposure
The first approach is enclosure of the process
The second option is Skin Protective Equipment (SPE) like suits, gloves and other items of protective clothing Control of Nanoparticles : Control of Nanoparticles Ingestion exposure
- Occurs from hand-to-mouth contact
Control by using gloves when handling nanoparticle products
Hand washing before eating, drinking or smoking is also important For Further Information : For Further Information The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) provides a multi-agency framework to ensure U.S. leadership in nanotechnology that will be essential to improved human health, economic well being and national security. www.nano.gov The National Nanotechnology Initiative More Resources : More Resources NIOSH Nanotechnology
DOE Office of Nanoscience
Foresight Nanotech Institute
A website with information of companies that produce nanotechnology
The Lux Report:"A Prudent Approach to Nanotech Environmental, Health and Safety Risks,"
Health & Safety Executive. “Nanoparticles: An occupational hygiene review.” Research report 274. Institute of Occupational Medicine, U.K. 2004
Example Template of an accident prevention program :