Nanoscience, with applications as diverse as medicine, materials or energy, is laying the foundations for a technological revolution.
The prospects for the nanotechnology market are remarkable: the sales of products with nanocomponents in 2012 were estimated to be 731,000 million dollars and it is expected that for this year 2018, the sales will be more than 4 billion dollars.
Along with this interest, doubts have emerged that question the safety of nanomaterials. There is a growing concern not only for the risk of its management, which can always be minimized, but also by the perception of them by the public. This may change the favourable image of nanotechnology.
Nanosafety, being a relatively recent area, is in continuous evolution and change along with research.
1. Nano is not synonymous with dangerous
You should not associate nanomaterials with something dangerous. As in the case of any chemical compound or new material, there can always be small gaps or doubts about their associated risks. The aim of Nanosafety is to identify them and remedy them as soon as possible.
2. It is not all doubts in Nanosafety
There are different guidelines and tools to help manage the risks associated with nanomaterials in the workplace.
In the European Union, the legislation that applies to materials is the general legislation on protection of workers: REACH and CLP.
In Spain, a document prepared by technicians of the National Institute of Safety and Hygiene at Work (INSHT) includes current knowledge on the aspects most relevant in preventive matters, including recommendations for the evaluation of risks and the application of preventive measures.
Recently in the United States, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published a new action guide for nanomaterials for medium and small companies.
3. Powder is what matters (most)
The vast majority of studies on Nanosecurity are focusing on the effects of inhaling nanomaterials. Indeed, inhalation is one of the routes of exposure that affects more people and that generates more concern among the scientific community.
4. NOT all nanomaterials are the same
Different nanomaterials present different degrees of danger. Not all nanomaterials are potentially dangerous to our health and, in fact, we coexisted with some nanomaterials for thousands of years and some of them originated in nature.
The range of hazards is very broad, and materials ranging from the completely harmless to others which present a high level of risk have been identified.
Gnanomat is responsible for the production of nanomaterials using rigorous safety measures, promoting control barriers and taking care of the safety of workers.