23.05.2008

Updated information on nanotechnologies effects on workers health

The term nanotechnologies refers to technologies of the very small, with
dimensions in the range of nanometers. Nanotechnologies exploit the specific
properties that arise from structuring matter at a (meso-) scale characterized
by the interplay of classical physics and quantum mechanics. Today, these
properties are often difficult to predict a priori.

Nanotechnologies enable other technologies. Thus, they will mostly result in
the production of intermediate goods. Nanotechnologies connect disciplines as
diverse as physics, chemistry, genetics, information and communication
technologies (ICTs), and cognitive sciences amongst others.

Some nanoparticles, nanospheres, nanotubes, and nanofibers produced via
nanotechnologies including adventitious by-products have the potential to raise
concerns for humans (public health, consumer safety, and the health and safety
of workers) and the environment. The concerns that nanoparticles, nanotubes,
and nanofibers raise constitute the most significant ones relating to
nanotechnologies within the next 35 years. They require further studies. In
this respect, more often than not, the toxicological, ecotoxicological, and
exposure data needed to perform a complete risk analysis are lacking.

The Canadian Institut Robert Sauv has just published an updated literature
survey on nanotechnologies and their effects on the safety and health of
workers. A good practice guide on workplace prevention is also due to be
published this year.


More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauv en sant et en scurit du travail (IRSST)