Nanomaterials are tiny particles, invisible to the human eye.
However they are present in our daily lives in everyday products such as food,
cosmetics, electronics and medicines. Some nanomaterials are natural, while
others are the by-products of human activities, or are specifically manufactured
for a particular purpose. Although nanomaterials have many beneficial properties,
there are large gaps in our knowledge about their associated health hazards.
The most important effects of nanomaterials have been found in the lungs and
include among others inflammation and tissue damage, fibrosis and tumour
generation. The cardiovascular system may also be affected. Some types of
carbon nanotubes can lead to asbestos-like effects. As well as the lungs,
nanomaterials have been found to reach other organs and tissues including the
liver, kidneys, heart, brain, skeleton and soft tissues.
Although many uncertainties remain, there are high levels of concern about the
safety and health hazards of nanomaterials. Therefore, employers together with
workers must apply a precautionary approach to risk management and the choice
of prevention measures. An OSHWIKI article presents tools for the management of
nanomaterials in the workplace and prevention measures.
AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work