RR274 - Nanoparticles: An occupational hygiene review
Nanotechnology is a broad interdisciplinary area of research, development and industrial activity which has been growing rapidly world wide for the past decade. It is a multidisciplinary grouping of physical, chemical, biological, engineering, and electronic, processes, materials, applications and concepts in which the defining characteristic is one of size. Nanoparticles are the end products of a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological processes some of which are novel and radically different, others of which are quite commonplace. In this review we have focused on processes for the deliberate development and manufacture of nanoparticle products. Nanoparticle products include nanotubes, nanowires, quantum dots and "other" nanoparticles. We have reviewed and considered, for nanoparticle production processes;
- potential routes for human exposure;
- industrial sources of occupational exposure;
- level of exposure;
- means of, and effectiveness of control measures;
- potential numbers exposed;
- ease with which gaps in knowledge could be filled;
- trends in the (potential) use of nanotechnology;
- views as to the likely impact, of the implementation of the change from research use to full-scale industrial use.
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