Online Program

Nanotechnology for environmental remediation: Current issues and guidance for managing occupational and non-occupational health risks to engineered nanoparticles

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ephraim Massawe Sr., PhD, Occupational Safety and Health Program, 1205 N Oak Street, Hammond, LA
The evolution of nanotechnology has brought a rapid expansion of industries that produce and utilize engineered nanoparticles for many applications, including the use of engineered nanoparticles for environmental remediation. This presentation is an overview of current use of nanotechnology for environmental remediation, worker safety and public health concerns, state of regulatory oversight and guidance to good work practices to minimize exposure. The positive aspects of nanotechnology beneficial to environmental remediation include the rapid reaction and chemistry of engineered nanoparticles with complex hazardous wastes. While engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) degrade complex and hazardous wastes such as persistent organic compounds much faster than the traditional remediation technologies, concerns for human health and safety from exposures to ENPs are also increasing. The regulatory landscape including relevant exposure information such as toxicological properties of ENPs, surveillance and monitoring and other related concerns is increasingly evolving. Along with an overview of that landscape, this presentation addresses local agencies' information needs for health and safety oversight of ENPs during environmental remediation. The information available within the federal government agencies including the guidance documents for best work practices and the recommended exposure levels issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will be highlighted. This paper concludes with some suggestions for establishing a nanoinformatics system to ensure that safe, sustainable and best practices and guidelines are in put place to protect workers and the general public against exposure to ENPs during environmental remediation and in other applications.

Keywords: engineered nanoparticles, nanoinformatics, health and safety, remediation

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe current practices of nano-enhanced remediation from the local, national and international perspectives Evaluate information needs of local, state and federal government agencies in relation to their health and safety oversight functions of nanotechnology in general, and nano-enhanced environmental remediation in particular. Discuss limitations and strengths of the current state of information collection, collation and synthesis to support local, state and federal agencies in the regulatory work to protect worker and public health and safety against exposure to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). Propose safe and sustainable practices and guidelines for handling ENPs during environmental remediation

Keyword(s): Occupational Exposure, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Laws and Regulations. I am also a Principal Investigator of two current projects on nanotechnology in relation to exposures and occupational and non-occupational health exposure aspects
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.