The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has revealed in its recently released publication, The State of the National Initiative on Prevention through Design: Progress Report 2014, that it is developing an education module on ‘Safe Nano Design’. It will be based around the ‘Prevention through Design’ (PtD) approach, which focuses on considering the safety needs of workers that create or use a product during the design stage of that product. The education modules ‘convey PtD concepts to undergraduate engineers in three or more lecutres’.
In the progress report NIOSH also describes a ‘Safe Nano Design’ workshop it held in August 2012, whose purpose ‘was to develop … guidelines for the safe synthesis of nanoparticles and associated products by means of a PtD approach’. It found that ‘nanomaterials can be designed to mitigate toxicity while maintaining functionality’, and that ‘at the process level various approaches can be designed in order to protect workers from exposure’.
The paper also details that ‘since 2006, NIOSH researchers have conducted over 40 workplace investigations at research facilities, pilot plants, and manufacturing sites’. This was found to be ‘one of the most productive activities’ NIOSH engaged in, as the body ‘developed partnerships with large and small nanomaterial manufacturing companies and gained invaluable insight on how nanomaterials are being handled’.
Follow this link to read the full report.