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Nanotechnology Initiative. IISP Workshop Gaithersburg, Maryland May 23 - 24, 2006. Paul F. Wambach, CIH Industrial Hygienist Office of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance. Outline of Talk. What is nanotechnology? What is the National Nanotechnology Initiative? ES&H Risks

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nanotechnology initiative

Nanotechnology Initiative

IISP Workshop

Gaithersburg, Maryland

May 23 - 24, 2006

Paul F. Wambach, CIHIndustrial Hygienist

Office of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance

outline of talk
Outline of Talk
  • What is nanotechnology?
  • What is the National Nanotechnology Initiative?
  • ES&H Risks
  • Risk Management Initiatives
what is nanotechnology
What Is Nanotechnology?
  • Nanoscale research and development at dimensions of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer
  • Fundamentally new properties and functions because of their nanoscale structure
  • Ability to image, measure, model, and manipulate matter on the nanoscale
  • Ability to integrate those properties and functions into systems spanning from nano to macroscopic scales

Nanoarea Electron Diffraction of DW Carbon Nanotube – Zuo,

Corral of Fe Atoms – D. Eigler

nano scale engineered materials
Nano Scale Engineered Materials
  • First Generation - Small size and large surface area (nano iron)
  • Second Generation – Novel molecules with desirable properties (carbon nanotubes)
  • Third Generation – Self assembly modeled on biological mechanisms (virus assembled gold wire)
unique properties from size
Unique Properties From Size

Quantum Size Effect in Cadmium Selenide

3 nm 4 nm 5 nm 6 nm 7 nm

Color of fluorescence determined by size of particles

single walled carbon nanotubes
Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes



Catalyst particles

Non-tubular carbon

Courtesy Andrew Maynard - NIOSH

Raw single walled carbon nanotube material.

what is the nni
What is the NNI?
  • The National Nanotechnology Initiative first funded National Science Foundation in FY-01 to coordinate Federal R&D
  • 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, December 2003
  • For FY 2006, estimated R&D funding totals over $1 billion across 11 agencies; 11 additional participating agencies
  • For more information see the NNI strategic plan at
doe nni mission
DOE NNI Mission
  • Provide the physics, chemistry, and computational tools needed to make nanotechnology possible.
  • $1.5 billion appropriated over 4 years for building and operating 5 Nanoscale Science Research Centers at: ORNL, LBNL, ANL, BNL, SNL that will also provide access to resources at LANL.
  • The first facility at ORNL is scheduled to be completed by September 2006 with all completed by 2008.
es h risks of nanoscale materials
ES&H Risks of Nanoscale Materials
  • Chemical reactivity of nanoscale materials different from more macroscopic form, e.g., gold
  • Vastly increased surface area per unit mass, e.g., upwards of 100 m2 per gram
  • New physical forms of common chemical elements change properties, e.g. proteins
  • Do these properties lead to new and unique health risks …?
ultrafine particle toxicology
Ultrafine Particle Toxicology
  • Recent examination of literature indicated over 10,000 peer-reviewed papers – V. Colvin
  • Ambient ultrafine particles are associated with adverse respiratory and cardiovascular effects in susceptible people
  • Recent work on toxicity, fate, and transport of Teflon, metal oxides, and carbon ultrafine particles in animals are establishing the mechanisms for effects observed in humans.
    • University of Rochester (G. Oberdorster)
airborne nanomaterials
Airborne Nanomaterials

Courtesy Andrew Maynard - NIOSH


Primary Particles

Aggregates & Agglomerates


Residue can have nanostructure

And high surface area

Deposition throughout the respiratory tract and gut

Small diameter

(~5 - 30 nm)

High surface area

Deposition throughout the respiratory tract and rapid uptake

High surface area

Typically ~ 100 - 1000 nm in diameter

Deposition in the lung uptake by immune system cells

es h challenges
ES&H Challenges
  • No standard nomenclature or material specifications
  • Hazard testing not keeping pace with materials development
  • No exposure limits
  • Hype – research and materials called nano to gain support
  • Dread – exotic, unfamiliar hazard
risk management initiatives
Risk Management Initiatives
    • DOE and its contractors will identify and manage potential health and safety hazards and potential environmental impacts at sites . . .
  • Nanoscale Science Research Centers Group
  • NIOSH and ANSI
  • EFCOG Occupational Safety and Health Group
    • Nano material: Hazard Assessment, Health Risks, and Safety Analysis Process project was approved at the joint EFCOG/DOE Chemical Management Workshop, March 14-16
    • 29 individuals have volunteered to participate.
define scope of work
Define Scope of Work
  • What distinguishes nanotechnology from other material science projects?
  • Nanoscale Science Research Centers will characterize and test samples of nanoscale engineered materials.
  • Application of nanotechnology to energy and defense research and development.
    • Pilot plant scale production operations?
analyze hazards
Analyze Hazards
  • Are there equipment and process materials that are unique to nanotechnology?
  • What assumptions should be made on the hazards of untested materials?
  • How do we interpret exposure monitoring results without exposure limits?
  • What medical tests and examinations should be used to monitor nanotechnology workers?
develop and implement hazard controls
Develop and Implement Hazard Controls
  • Are facility, utility, and equipment codes and standards currently in use for materials sciencesufficient?
  • Are UK Control Banding or ILO Toolkit strategies useful for health risk management?
  • Are existing procedures sufficient for assuring visiting scientists know how to protect themselves?
feedback and improvement
Feedback and Improvement
  • Occurrence Investigation and Reporting
    • Definition of a nanotechnology occurrence
  • Health Surveillance
    • Medical Surveillance – sentinel health event or unusual pattern of injury, illness, or clinical finding
    • Exposure Surveillance – unusual events or higher than expected exposures
    • Health and exposure data linked to individual identifier
    • Routine collection, analysis and dissemination of information to those who need to know
  • NNI legislation has established public policy
    • Secure the benefits of nanotechnology
    • Manage the risks
  • Ready, shoot, aim – Feedback is important
    • Passive surveillance – injury, illness, and occurrence reporting – has limited ability to answer questions
    • Active surveillance – worker registries – needed to identify potential health effects as early as possible.