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Nanotechnology Work Health & Safety Food & Grocery Nanotechnology Forum 26 February 2013 Howard Morris (Safe Work Australia) 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Nanotechnology Work Health & Safety Food & Grocery Nanotechnology Forum 26 February 2013 Howard Morris (Safe Work Australia) 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nanotechnology Work Health & Safety Food & Grocery Nanotechnology Forum 26 February 2013 Howard Morris (Safe Work Australia) 1

2 2 COAG SELECT COUNCIL ON WORKPLACE RELATIONS SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA Comcare ACT WorkCover WorkCover Authority of NSW WorkSafe - NT Workplace Health & Safety Qld SafeWork SA Workplace Standards Tasmania WorkSafe Victoria WorkSafe Western Australia Workers ACTU Employers ACCI, AIG

3 3 Nanotechnology Work Health & Safety Program Managed by Safe Work Australia agency –funding under National Enabling Technologies Strategy Focus areas Nanotechnologies & WHS regulatory framework Hazardous properties of manufactured nanomaterials Effectiveness of workplace controls Emissions and exposure measurement Information for nanotechnology organisations Participating in international initiatives & maintaining consistency with international approaches

4 4 Applying the Work Health and Safety Regulatory Framework to Nanotechnologies Obligations under work health and safety legislation need to be met for nanomaterials and nanotechnologies Where understanding of nanomaterial hazards is limited –use precautionary approach to eliminate or minimise workplace exposures to manufactured nanomaterials Model Codes of Practice for SDS & Workplace Labelling –Recommend SDS/label should be provided for engineered or manufactured nanomaterials unless evidence they are not hazardous

5 5 Precautionary Approach Approach 1 By considering what would be a reasonable worst case, determine how severe the hazard could be Choose controls that are appropriate for that hazard severity Approach 2 Assume nanomaterials are highly hazardous Implement high level engineering controls – enclosure or isolation Approach 3 Identify controls used for the same/similar process with larger particles Use more stringent controls for nanomaterials –e.g. if general ventilation is used for larger particles, use LEV for nanomaterials

6 6 Health Hazards of Nanomaterials Requirement under WHS Regulations to classify according to the GHS Considerable knowledge on health impacts of fine & ultrafine particulate air pollution Main concern for workplace is inhalation exposure Range of hazard severities: low to high Nanoparticles generally more toxic than larger particles of same material Carbon nanotubes: NICNAS recommended classification as hazardous chemical –GHS, Suspected Carcinogen (Category 2) Engineered Nanomaterials: A review of the toxicology & health hazards (R. Drew, Toxikos 2009) Human health hazard assessment and classification of carbon nanotubes (NICNAS, 2012)

7 7 Safety Hazards of Nanomaterials Potential safety risk e.g. fire & explosion Likelihood of ignition is dependent on particle type Potential to form explosive dust clouds? –air concentrations of nanomaterials required for explosion much higher than due to fugitive emissions from well-controlled nanotechnology processes –however, if production is not designed and/or controlled effectively, in processes or in handling there is potential for air concentrations in localised area to be high enough to result in explosion if ignited Evaluation of potential safety (physicochemical) hazards associated with the use of engineered nanomaterials (Draft Report, Toxikos 2012)

8 8 Workplace Controls for Nanomaterials Potential exposure is material & application dependent –highest when handling free particles –lower if working with articles containing embedded nanomaterials Control of exposure –apply the hierarchy of control –conventional engineering controls can effectively reduce exposures if designed & maintained appropriately

9 9 Effectiveness of Process Enclosure & LEV Number of CNTs/cm 3 Before process enclosure After process enclosure Personal Area Process enclosure Blending with carbon nanotubes for composites. (Han et al, Inhalation Toxicology, 2008) LEV Effectiveness From McGarry et al (QUT/WHSQ 2012)

10 10 Control of Safety Hazards Same principles that apply to management of fine powders, dusts & dusty materials should be considered –Avoid dust becoming airborne –Handling combustible nanopowders in liquid form when possible –Design of machinery to prevent ignitions and sparks control operating temperature of electrical equipment –Use of controlled-atmosphere production and storage processes risk of asphyxiation

11 11 Measurement of Nanoparticle Emissions Research set-up for measurement of nanoparticle emissions (P.McGarry et al, QUT/WHSQ, 2012 ) Combination of P-Trak, DustTrak & OPC sufficient for workplace investigations

12 12 Exposure Standards & Limits

13 13 Published Research Reports Plus Durability of carbon nanotubes and their potential to cause inflammation Nanoparticles from printer emissions in workplace environments Health effects of laser printer emissions measured as particles Human health hazard assessment and classification of carbon nanotubes

14 14 Summary Obligations under Work Health and Safety legislation need to be met for nanomaterials and nanotechnologies Limited but growing amount of information on hazards of nanomaterials Conventional controls can be used to minimise exposure –take precautionary approach in choosing controls


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