WHAT IS NANOTECHNOLOGY?
“The manipulation of matter at or near atomic scale to produce new materials, structures and devices exhibiting unique physical, chemical and biological properties.”
Really, Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. Another straightforward definition is the engineering of the unthinkably small particles. "Nano" or nanometer (nm), is a unit of measure; there are a billion nanometers in a meter.
A host of products containing nano materials, such as tennis rackets, cosmetics, and electronics, are already on the market. Other uses are found in medicine, computers, cell phones, energy production, electronics, automotive sensors, paint, and biomaterials just to name a few.
There are approximately 3 to 4 new nanotech consumer products produced each week. Phenomenal products with an extremely wide range of applications, but with it, they bring along a host of concerns about toxicity and worker exposure risks. BVNA’s expertise in controlling worker exposure risks to other hazardous agents, such as silica, asbestos, and pharmaceutical powders positions us to take the lead in assessing and controlling worker exposures to nanoparticles.
Donna Heidel, CIH, elected as an AIHA director. Ms Heidel has been a member of AIHA since 1989 and is senior industrial hygiene manager at Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. in Edison, N.J.
Occupational Safety and Health, Green Chemistry, and Sustainability: A Review of Areas of Convergence
Co-authored by Donna Heidel, CIH
Thought Leaders Project
Donna Heidel, an AIHA fellow with 25 years of occupational safety and health experience, discusses how her experience in the pharmaceutical industry helped her become an expert in hazard and risk assessment and exposure control related to high toxicity chemicals and emerging technologies, such as engineered nanoparticles and nano-enabled products.
Co-authored by Donna Heidel, CIH
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU AND YOUR COMPANY?
Nanotechnology creates many new products that bring significant improvements in performance. Protecting the health and safety of your highly-skilled workforce will ensure the sustainability of your company’s contributions to these innovative products. Bureau Veritas supports the commercialization of products with this emerging technology by including the appropriate worker health and safety considerations at each step in your business process, from the laboratory bench, to the manufacturing floor, and to the store shelf. We support a supply chain that is not interrupted by health and safety concerns.
When you think Nanomaterials, think Bureau Veritas.
We can help you with all aspects of nanotechnology-related worker health and safety issues, including nanoparticle characterization, hazard identification, exposure assessment and exposure control. Whether you’re involved in Research and Development, product engineering, supply chain management, or employee safety, we can help you with expert consulting and laboratory services.
We can assist you with:
• Research and Development (R & D): Identifying the hazards associated with new nanomaterials and new or redesigned products and protecting R&D personnel until adequate hazard information is available.
• Materials Characterization: Characterizing nanoparticles by electron microscopy, including size, shape, and surface area. Development of sampling and analytical methods.
• Hazard Determination: Developing exposure guidance for nanoparticles without occupational exposure limits.
• Safety Data Sheet Development and Labeling: Maintaining compliance with SDS and labeling requirements and regulations.
• Manufacturing and Distribution: Participate in the design and specification of the appropriate process containment and controls to protect workers, verify nanoparticle containment of a process, assess the effectiveness of an engineering control, develop test protocols for factory acceptance testing of laboratory and process equipment.
• Evaluating Worker Exposure (Worker Protection Programs): Assess the exposure risks to your workforce.
• Exposure Control: Recommend the appropriate exposure controls to manage worker exposure risks. Test the effectiveness of the controls.
• Employee Safety: Minimize risks while working with flammable liquids, organic solvents, reagent gases, explosive dusts and other hazards.
• Supply Chain Management: Support the selection of contract manufacturers. Monitor your supply chain activities that can affect your nano business goals.
• Worker Program Training: Training programs to address critical issues that workers and management need to understand about nanotechnology, the associated hazards, and the appropriate work practices.