08/12/2004

Nanoscience and nanotechnology - a threat to workplace health?

A report by The Royal Society & The Royal Academy of Engineering - Nanoscience
and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, that considered the
implications of the technology, suggests that any health, safety and
environmental hazards of nanotechnologies are restricted to discrete
manufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes in a free rather than embedded
form.

It recommends that


  • efforts should be made to review the adequacy of the regulation of exposure
    to nanoparticles, and in particulary considering the relative advantages of
    measurement on the basis of mass and number; and
  • it should be onsidered to set lower occupational exposure levels for
    manufactured nanoparticles.

The Government commissioned the report's authors to discover whether
nanotechnology raises or is likely to raise new ethical, health and safety or
social issues not covered by current regulation. The study defined what is
meant by nanoscience and nanotechnology, summarises the current state of
scientific knowledge about nanotechnology.

The report illustrates the fact that nanotechnologies offer many benefits both
now and in the future but that public debate is needed about their development.
It also highlights the immediate need for research to address uncertainties
about the health and environmental effects of nanoparticles ­ one small area of
nanotechnologies. It also makes recommendations about regulation to control
exposure to nanoparticles.

Content:

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - What are nanoscience and nanotechnologies?

Chapter 3 - Science and applications

Chapter 4 - Nanomanufacturing and the industrial application of
nanotechnologies

Chapter 5 - Possible adverse health, environmental and safety impacts

Chapter 6 - Social and ethical issues

Chapter 7 - Stakeholder and public dialogue


Chapter 8 - Regulatory issues

Chapter 9 - Conclusions

Chapter 10 - Recommendations

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Safetynews