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The Development of Control Strategies and Exposure Assessment for Occupational and Environmental Exposure of Nanomaterials

S-J Tsai, M. Ellenbecker
University of Massachusetts Lowell, US

Keywords: nanotechnology, control strategy, exposure assessment, nanomaterial


Our research has investigated various occupational and environmental exposure issues and developed effective control strategies. The precautionary principle and sustainable development guided our research philosophy since its earliest stage. We adopted cleaner production principles to eliminate contamination at the source from many different nanotechnology research and production activities. We followed the hierarchy of engineering controls to develop control strategies. We will review our results regarding current knowledge about occupational and environmental exposures to engineered nanoparticles and effective techniques for evaluating and controlling such exposures. Case studies from our research will be discussed. Research laboratories and industrial manufacturers were in need of economic and straightforward control methods; we found that modifications to currently-available controls were required for the nano-industry to move forward to the next phase. In addition, the current consensus on best practices to reduce exposure and the challenges presented by the next phase will be presented and discussed. The currently-available nanoparticle control methods can provide excellent performance when used properly and efficiently. Understanding the behavior of airborne nanomaterials, such as their response to the surrounding airflow pattern, is one of the key elements for controlling exposure. The knowledge gained to date can guide the further development of effective consensus standards for engineered nanoparticle health and safety.
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