Nanotechnology is a dynamic science producing new materials and products with extraordinary functional properties in of medicine, energy, aeronautics, and the environment. However, there is little regulation governing this science , specifically with regard to personal and environmental exposure risks.
Nanoparticles exhibit different and varying levels of toxicity, chemical, and physical properities in comparison to their macroscale. For these reasons alone the researchers must protect their breathing zones and implement sound risk assessment and risk management strategy by investing in containment instrumentation.
Environmental Health and Safety
Organizations and Universities are now administering nano-specific EHS programs including training, and monitoring the work environment which translates to concerns for nano-researcher safety.
The specific safety protocols are contingent on nanomaterial life cycle stages, modifications, and disposal. Containment is necessary because Nanotechnology presents vast challenges for environmental monitoring and minimizing contaminants in the laboratory and workplace.
“A fundamental requirement for assessing the potential impacts of new nanomaterials on both human health and environment is the ability to make precise, accurate measurements at the nanoscale in multiple, complex media.” (Strategy For Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research; NNI pp12; Feb. 2008)
Understanding how analytical methods such as chemical or physical modifications affect the properties of nanomaterials is best researched inside a personnel protection equipment enclosure. A low flow hood (60 - 75 lfpm) creates a non turbulent containment where risk is minimized, from both a personnel and sample perspective.