Identifying and Managing the Health and Safety Hazards of Nanomaterials in Laboratories
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In the last decade, nanomaterials have been increasingly researched as the result of the rapid development in nanotechnology due to novel properties and behavior of nanomaterials different from their bulk materials. However, the development of nanomaterials results in unexpected impacts on humanity and the environment. Exposure to nanomaterials causes potential health and physical hazards to researchers handling nanomaterials in laboratories. In addition, specific standards and guidelines on the safe handling of nanomaterials’ hazards in laboratories are very scarce compared to the handling of bulk materials. With this concern in mind, this paper describes efforts toward the development of applicable and appropriate guidelines with the objective of identifying and managing the health and safety hazards of nanomaterials inside laboratories. Two main areas of research are studied: 1) Identification of nanomaterial hazards in laboratories, and 2) Mitigation of nanomaterial hazards in laboratories. For the first task, the control banding approach should be recommended to identify the health hazards of nanomaterials rather than the occupational exposure limits because toxicological data of nanomaterials is not sufficient. Dust explosion classes based on dust explosion deflagration index (K_(St)) are used for identifying the physical hazards of nanomaterials using the dust explosion test apparatus. For the second task, control methods dedicated for nanomaterials such as Nano-glovebox, Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used to protect researchers in laboratories from the hazards of nanomaterials. Finally, in order to accomplish the objective, this paper focuses on both developing a control methods selection flowchart and developing hazard controls during the whole life cycle of nanomaterials.
Kim, Jin Sek (2014). Identifying and Managing the Health and Safety Hazards of Nanomaterials in Laboratories. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from