Development of Nanotechnology Safety Education Courses – Part 2

This week is a follow up to the previous blog, which covered the development of the introductory course for Nanotechnology Safety education.  This course is the advanced course and is intended for students who have taken the earlier course. For information on the initial course please check the previous blog.

The focus of the advanced course and its title in Principles of Risk Management for Nanoscale Materials.  In order to develop students so they can treat various situations involving nanomaterials, it is necessary to develop an understanding of the potential risks that may be encountered.  Consequently, the advanced course focuses on developing an understanding risks, applications of nanotechnology that are beneficial to people and the environment, and how this may be applied in the working environment.  There are the contents of seven modules listed below.  The other modules involve visit(s) to actual manufacturing sites and the development of a case study research project and paper. The personnel responsible for this effort are the ones identified in the previous blog on the introductory course.

  1. Overview of Occupational Health & Safety
    1. Methods and practices
    2. Theories of accident causation
    3. Accident investigation & reporting
    4. Hazards control & communication
    5. Introduction to nanotechnology
      1. Nanotechnology ASTM E2456 standard terminology
    6. Introduction to nanomaterials
      1. Overview of manufacturing processes.
  2. Applications of Nanotechnology. Environmental
    1. Nanomaterials for groundwater remediation
    2. Nanoparticle use in pollution control
    3. Health
      1. Drug delivery
      2.  Gene delivery
        1. Liposomes
        2. Nanoparticles
        3. Dendrimers
      3.  Imaging
      4.  Molecular diagnostics
      5.  Cardiac therapy
      6.  Dental care
      7.  Orthopedics applications
    4. Energy
      1.  Solar and fuel cells
      2.  Wind
      3.  Internal combustion engines
    5. Information and Communication
      1.  Memory storage
      2.  Novel semiconductor devices
      3.  Novel optoelectronic devices
      4.  Displays.
    6. Heavy Industry
      1.  Aerospace
      2.  Nanoparticles in construction materials
      3.  Lighter and energy efficient automobiles.
    7. Consumer
      1.  Cosmetics
      2.  Textile
      3.  Optics
      4.  Agriculture
      5.  Sports
  3. Assessing Nanotechnology Health Risks
    1. Dose-response assessment
    2. Dose-response evaluation
    3. Risk characterization.
    4. Human health and toxicology
      1.  Short and long term toxicity studies
      2.  Understanding and determining toxic doses
    5. Role of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
      1.  Nanotechnology safety programs in the workplace
      2.  Training and incentives.
  4. Sustainable nanotechnology development
    1. Developing environmental regulations pertaining to nanotechnology
    2. Analyses of nanoparticles in environment
    3. Nanotechnology and our energy challenge
    4. Life cycle risk assessment (LCRA) for sustainable nanotechnology applications
  5. Environmental risks assessment
    1. Nanoparticle transport, aggregation, and deposition
    2. Treatment of nanoparticles in wastewater
    3. Potential ecological hazard of nanomaterials
    4. Environmental toxicology and risk assessment
    5. Balancing risks and rewards
  6. Ethical and Legal Aspects of nanotechnology
    1. Ethical principles
      1.  Case scenarios in private industry and government
    2. Legal duties and regulations; manager’s responsibility and worker’s compensation
    3. Role of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), NIOSH, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  7. Developing a Risk Management Program
    1. ASTM and OSHA guidelines for working with nanomaterials
    2. Prevention and Control Strategies
      1. Engineering Controls
      2. Administrative Controls
      3. Personal protective equipment
    3. Nanotechnology risk management in Total Safety Management (TSM) and Quality Management (QM) frameworks

About Walt

I have been involved in various aspects of nanotechnology since the late 1970s. My interest in promoting nano-safety began in 2006 and produced a white paper in 2007 explaining the four pillars of nano-safety. I am a technology futurist and is currently focused on nanoelectronics, single digit nanomaterials, and 3D printing at the nanoscale. My experience includes three startups, two of which I founded, 13 years at SEMATECH, where I was a Senior Fellow of the technical staff when I left, and 12 years at General Electric with nine of them on corporate staff. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from James Madison University, and a B.S. in Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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