There are some good research results that we can point to that provide good answers and guidance for concerns over engineered nanomaterials. First off, ultrafine particulate containment and control is not something new to the Industrial Hygiene and engineering control communities. Many of the principles developed for ultrafine particulates apply directly to engineered nanomaterials; a new type of ultrafine. What is different is that nanomaterials are being developed and introduced into nearly every area of commerce because of their new behavior and properties. It is thier ‘purity of activity’ that makes them more of a challenge than ambient ultrafine particles. There is no doubt that they are or will be encountered just about everywhere.
Filtration: Starting with some joint research conducted between NIOSH and the Center for Filtration Research (U of Minnesota); the efficiency of HEPA filters to capture nanoparticles was demonstrated in control ventilation filters. That research was extended to respirator filters, and ultimately to manufacturer supplied respirators. A quick summary of NIOSH’s research and recommendations is available on the NIOISH Science Blog: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2011/12/resp-nano/
Containment systems: NIOSH, and others have promoted the use of lower-flow containment devices for tasks that involve open handling (weighing, dispensing, inspection, etc.) of the dry powder form of nanomaterials. Several good sources of information are available. The NIOSH Nanotechnology Topic page:http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/ and the GoodNanoGuide site:http://www.goodnanoguide.org/tiki-index.php?page=HomePage. Containment devices that generate a high level of turbulence, such as laboratory fume hoods and biological safety cabinets, may not be the best option for control. As you so correctly noted, any containment device should be tested and verified. Similar extensions and reapplications are occurring with protective equipment, such as gloves and protective garments.
Charles L. Geraci, Jr., Ph.D., CIH
Coordinator, Nanotechnology Research Center
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
4676 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45226
How do you address nanomaterial that can pass through many filters as well as many materials? Of course it may take some time for this phenomenon to occur; considering this before worker contamination happens would be prudent. These materials represent a hazard that we have not really faced before. We may only know a small portion of what we need to know to work safely with these materials; it is not prudent to use our standby tactics and procedures for health and safety. TEST and VERIFY all containment systems thoroughly before proceeding with any work.
Jay Toigo. CHMM, M.P.H
Chemist. U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Laboratories and Scientific Services, New York
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 2, 2012, at 10:38, "Robin M. Izzo" <rmizzo**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> wrote:
A glove box, a nano hood (a lower flow hood fitted with HEPA or ULPA filters, preferably with an ionizer) or a biosafety cabinet are better alternatives. Our researchers mainly use glove boxes and one uses a nano hood when working with solid nanomaterials.
Robin M. Izzo, M.S.
Associate Director, EHS
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
~ Mark Twain
Does anyone have a source on a containment system for safely weighing dry nanomaterial? A chemical hood is usually too turbulent for the accuracy of a Mettler balance. Any thought you have including precaution(s) to take for this type of work would be appreciated.
Thank you and keep up the great work you do.
Yung Morgan, MsPH
Industrial Hygiene Services
Environmental Health and Safety
117 Draper hall
UMASS,Amherst MA 01003
phone (413) 545-2682
Fax (413) 545-2600
email : pmorgan**At_Symbol_Here**ehs.umass.edu
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