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Nanotechnology Initiative. 2006 National Response Team Worker Safety and Health Technical Conference May 31 – June 1, 2006. Paul F. Wambach, CIH Industrial Hygienist Office of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

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nanotechnology initiative

Nanotechnology Initiative

2006 National Response Team Worker Safety and Health Technical Conference

May 31 – June 1, 2006

Paul F. Wambach, CIHIndustrial Hygienist

Office of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance

national nanotechnology initiative nni
National Nanotechnology Initiative (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
21st century nanotechnology research and development act
21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act
  • National Science Foundation
    • Funds basic research and has a coordination role
  • National Institute for Science and Technology
    • Methods for characterizing and naming new materials
  • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Funds health protection research
    • National Toxicology Program
    • NIOSH
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
    • Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory
    • Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories
    • Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    • Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory
    • Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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 …?
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?
control banding
Control Banding
  • Qualitative Job Hazard Analysis
    • Exposure Bands Instead of OELs
    • Control Bands
  • Two flavors
    • UK HSE COSSH Essentials (and very similar ILO Occupational Risk Management Toolkit)
    • Pharmaceutical and other industry specific methods
risk assessment
Risk Assessment
  • What is the Health Hazard (Exposure Band)
    • R phrases from Globally Harmonized MSDS
  • How much is being used
    • Low – grams or milliliters
    • Medium – kilograms or liters
    • High – Tons or cubic meters
  • Exposure Pontential
    • Boiling Point/Operating Temperature
    • Pellets – Granules - Powder
control bands
Control Bands
  • A – Use Good Industrial Hygiene Practice
  • B – Use local exhaust ventilation
  • C – Enclose process
  • D – Seek specialist advice
    • Pharmaceutical: No open handling (closed systems required)
  • E – Seek specialist advice
    • Pharmaceutical: No manual operations/human intervention (robotics or remote operations required)
pharmaceutical industry specific method
Pharmaceutical Industry Specific Method
  • Potency (mg/day) 8-Hr TWA (mg/m3)
    • >100 >1
    • 10-100 0.1-1
    • 1-10 0.01-0.1
    • 0.1-1 0.001-0.01
    • <0.01 <0.001
    • Unknown 0.01-0.1
pharmaceutical industry specific method18
Pharmaceutical Industry Specific Method
  • Uses a more sophisticated health hazard rating method.
    • MSDSs with R phrases aren’t available
    • Toxicity data generated during the research and development process
  • Doesn’t include qualitative exposure assessment
    • Relatively small number of typical operations
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.