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A Small Business Approach to Nanomaterial Environment, Health, and Safety

Gause, Charles B. BS; Layman, Rachel M. MS; Small, Aaron C. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821ad5f1
Medical Surveillance: Original Article
Abstract

Objective: Integral to the commercialization process for nanotechnology enabled products is the methodology for protecting workers potentially exposed to nanomaterials during product development. Occupational health surveillance is a key aspect of protecting employees and involves both hazard identification and surveillance of known medical data. However, when the health effects and exposure pathways of both new and existing “nano-scale” chemical substances are not yet well understood, conservative hazard controls and baseline data collection can facilitate both immediate and long-term worker protection.

Methods: Luna Innovations uses a conservative approach based on risk assessment and the OSHA General Duty Clause.

Results: To date, Luna's approach has been effective for our business model.

Conclusions: Understanding and managing potential hazards to our nanotechnology workers is key to the success and acceptance of nanotechnology enabled products.

Author Information

From Luna Innovations Incorporated, Blacksburg, Va.

Address correspondence to: Aaron C. Small, PhD, Luna Innovations Incorporated, 1 Riverside Circle, Suite 400, Roanoke, VA 24016. E-mail: smalla@lunainnovations.com.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine