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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 and Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S28–S31
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821ad5f1
Medical Surveillance: Original Article

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.

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:

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine