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Nanoparticle Safety UTSI November 2011. Introduction - Nanoparticles  Nanoparticles have at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm)  They.

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Presentation on theme: "Nanoparticle Safety UTSI November 2011. Introduction - Nanoparticles  Nanoparticles have at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm)  They."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nanoparticle Safety UTSI November 2011

2 Introduction - Nanoparticles  Nanoparticles have at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm)  They have existed in nature since time began Example – fine particles associated with combustion or volcanic eruptions  Only recently (past 20 years) have they been engineered

3 Introduction - Examples of Engineered Nanoparticles  Carbons examples - Fullerenes, nanotubes  Oxides examples - Titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide  Metals examples - Gold, zinc, nickel, copper  Semiconductors examples - CdSe, CdS, InAs, InP  Polymers/organics examples- liposomes

4 Introduction -Nanoparticles  Nano-scale materials may have different properties as compared to the bulk material  For example gold is malleable in the bulk form but is brittle and appears red in color at the nano-scale

5 Introduction – Monitoring Measurement of most hazardous air contaminants is done on a mass-to-volume ratio Example milligrams/cubic meter of air This type of measurement is not always acceptable when evaluating nano-scale substances with respect to hazard

6 Introduction-Monitoring  Other nanoparticle characteristics, that can’t be easily measured in the workplace, may be more important in hazard assessment for, such as  Surface area  Number of particles  Electrical charge of the particle  Agglomeration of particles  Particle size  Solubility

7 Introduction  Nano-scale particles haven’t been fully evaluated with respect to toxicity, especially for chronic exposures.  Therefore, it’s necessary to have an increased level of safety to offset uncertainties with respect to risk

8 Controls  Traditional controls such as ventilation, respirators, gloves, etc. work well against nanoparticles according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  Disposable nitrile gloves are recommended for use with nanoparticles in the UTSI lab

9 Material Safety Data Sheets  Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for various materials.  However, the MSDS don’t address nano- scale particles of the substance  Therefore, professional judgment must be used when conducting hazard evaluations with nano-scale particles.

10 Hazard Assessment  Most nano-scale dusts can act as a mechanical irritant to the skin, and mucous membranes (eyes, nose and throat).  Nanoparticles in a liquid are not capable of becoming airborne and therefore present less of a hazard

11 Hazard Assessment - Dermal  The nanoparticles used at UTSI are sandwiched between transparent adhesive plastic tape.  This should make exposure essentially zero  However, disposable gloves are recommended as a general precaution.

12 Hazard Assessment - Ingestion  Ingestion is highly unlikely for the nano- scale alloy particles used at UTSI  Steps to prevent ingestion include:  Use gloves while handling the materials  Remove gloves and wash hands following work in the lab  Don’t allow hand-to-mouth contact (e.g. eating, drinking) while working in the lab.

13 Hazard Assessment - Inhalation  Inhalation can be the most significant route of entry into the body for an airborne material.  Particles less than 5 microns (5000 nm) in size can penetrate deeply into the lungs where some clearance mechanism (cilia) are not present  In addition, smaller particles are likely to stay airborne for a longer period of time

14 Hazard Assessment - Inhalation  It’s unlike that any of the nano-scale alloys used at UTSI would be inhaled through routine handling  However, it’s prudent to limit unnecessary inhalation

15 Hazard Assessment – Accidental Release  In the event an accidental release of the nanoparticles occurs:  Avoid breathing the dust  Use gloves to clean up the spilled material  Use wet methods (damp paper towel or other material) to collect the spill  Avoid creating a dust

16 Hazard Assessment – Accidental Release  Clean up materials, including personal protective equipment, from a spill may be discarded via regular trash  They aren’t considered a hazardous waste.  It’s suggested they be placed in a sealed plastic bag and kept damp if possible

17 OSHA Compliance  Labeling – Containers of the nano-particles must be labeled  The OSHA HazCom labeled should contain:  Name of the substance (example: iron oxide)  A hazard warning (example: caution, dust may be irritating)  Name of the responsible individual (or company) who is familiar with the substance

18 OSHA Compliance  Employees who are likely to come in contact with the material should receive training  The information in this PowerPoint presentation should meet the requirements for training.  Results of training must be documented, which can be done by a quiz, sign-in sheet or by other means.

19 OSHA Compliance  Material Safety Data Sheet should be made available to the workers  Employee’s should know the location of UTSI’s Hazard Communication Plan (also called HazCom or Right to Know Plan)

20 OSHA Compliance  Individuals who are likely to come in contact with the material should know:  How to detect the presence or release of a the nanoparticles (such as visual appearance)  Methods of self –protection (such as gloves or the use of wet methods for clean up and not eating food or drinking in the lab)

21 Europium Sulfide  The chemical, physical and toxicological properties of europium have not been thoroughly investigated and recorded.

22 Europium Sulfide  Unable to find an MSDS for Europium Sulfide on the Internet  However, it should behave similar to Europium chloride.  Information the next two pages regarding europium were taken from: Chloride.htm

23 Europium Sulfide  Europium metals are moderately to highly toxic.  Symptoms of toxicity include writhing, ataxia, labored respiration, walking on the toes with arched back and sedation.  Low toxicity by ingestion exposure.  Again, exposure is extremely unlikely in the UTSI lab and none of these symptoms are anticipated.

24 Europium  Intraperitoneal route is highly toxic  Subcutaneous route is poisonous to moderately toxic.  The production of lung and skin granulomas after exposure to them requires extensive protection to prevent such exposure

25 Iron Oxide  Iron oxide is fairly innocuous and shouldn’t present a distinct health hazard. The primary hazard would be irritation of skin or mucous membranes upon contact  A copy of the MSDS can be found at:

26 Iron-Cobalt Alloy  The primary health effect of an iron- cobalt alloy is irritation of the skin or mucous membranes upon contact  A material safety data sheet for iron- cobalt alloy can be found at:

27 Cobalt Alloys  Cobalt can be hazardous by ingestion or inhalation.  An MSDS for cobalt can be found at:  It’s unlike that exposure will occur in the UTSI lab.

28 Summary  The hazards associated with nano- particles have not been fully characterized.  General good lab practice, including the use of gloves, will be enough to control exposure in the UTSI labs  Nanoparticles in a liquid are less hazardous as compared to dry powder forms.


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