Posted: November 17, 2007

European NanOSH Conference - Nanotechnology: A Critical Area in Occupational Safety and Health

(Nanowerk News) The Conference will discuss global safety issues surrounding nanoparticles and nanotechnologies, in occupational safety and health in particular; and will provide an insight into future actions for assuring the safety, and thereby the future success of nanotechnology. The NanOSH conference is organized by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Why it is critical now?
Nanoparticles provide a qualitatively new basis for a number of industries. The technologies that utilize them, i.e. deal with matter on a nanometer scale, do so in a large number of industrial and consumer applications. These applications present huge potential for both technological and economic benefits. Nanotechnologies may also provide important means to save raw materials and to promote sustainable development. The growth rate of nanoparticle research, the rapidity of nanotechnology development, and the speed of new industrial and consumer products is dramatic. This area is currently critical, because we are surrounded by nanoparticles all the time, and must hence act without delay.
Because of their small size, small nanoparticles have practically free access to all parts of the body, mainly through the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and even neuronal pathways. Several nanoparticles cause harmful health effects in experimental conditions, mainly pulmonary inflammation, but they also affect neuronal cells. Nowadays, there is no systematic information on health effects or safety, of any given nanoparticles. Even the scanty knowledge of nanoparticle safety cannot be assessed because information on exposure to them is not available. Not even methods to assess exposure to nanoparticles in occupational environments exist, and there are no standards or rules for the manufacturing or safety assessment of nanoparticles.
Thus, there is an obvious need to assess our present position in the progress of nanoparticles and nanotechnologies. We need to identify the next steps required to assure safe research, as well as their safe use in occupational environments and consumer products. Safety is the key for the future success of nanoparticles and nanotechnologies worldwide.
Place: Marina Congress Center, Helsinki, Finland
Date: December 3, 2007 time 09:00 - December 5, 2007 time 16:00
Main themes of the Conference
  • A global view of the significance and safety of nanotechnologies, particularly in occupational environments
  • Toxicity of given nanoparticles, including carbon nanotubes, metal nanoparticles, quantum dots and photocatalytic nanoparticles, and the characterization and evaluation of the critical features of nanoparticles, the so-called ‘metrics’
  • Chemical and physical characterization of selected (above) nanoparticles, and how these characteristics affect exposure assessment and its interpretation
  • Views on the safety of nanoparticles in different parts of the world.
  • Who should attend?
    Scientists and experts interested in the safety and health effects of NPs; those interested in their characterization and exposure assessment; representatives from the NP-NT industry; industry and employee organizations; regulators at national, regional and international levels, organizations funding NP-NT research, and other key-stakeholders in the NP-NT area.
    Organizer: The Conference is organized by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
    Source: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
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