Nanotechnologies are emerging sciences focusing on the development of methods and techniques to control and manipulate material properties on a nanoscale (1-100 nm). 1 nanometer is one billionth meter. Materials at such small scale might react differently or have other properties compared to the mother material in bulk form.
There is quite some discussion on the possible risks of these new technologies focusing mainly on manufactured nano objects that are difficult to break down. Up till now it is not clear if the current knowledge on 'traditional' micro- and nanoparticles is sufficiently useful for the assessment of the risks of these new manufactured nano objects. Little is known about the potential health effects that might occur due to exposure to these particles.
The ECTS can support you with:
- the visualisation of exposure to nanoparticles using PIMEX;
- the exposure assessment of nanoparticles using different measurement devices (portable / personal);
- performing the Risk Inventory and Evaluation to identify the risks related to working with nanoparticles;
- the implementation of the precautionary principle;
- the implementation of risk management measures and demonstrating their effectiveness.
The ECTS has been involved in a number of projects related to nanotechnologies:
An inventory of good practices on dealing with nanomaterials on the work floor within Dutch companies and research facilities. The project was initiated and funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Housing and Spatial Planning and Environment, 2008. The full report with English summary can be downloaded here.
Exposure measurements to ultrafine particles and visualisation of exposure using PIMEX for two large organisations in the Netherlands, 2009.
Production of a number of PIMEX videos on exposure to synthetic nanoparticles, to be shown on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, 2010.
The development of the Stoffenmanager Nano to assist companies with the (qualitative) risk assessment of working with nanoparticles and/or nanoproducts. The tool is developed by the consortium ArboUnie (ECTS), TNO and BECO commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, 2011. More information can be found here.
The following presentations have been given:
Visualisation of exposure to nanoparticles using PIMEX. International Conference on Safe production and use of nanomaterials (NanoSafe) November 2010, Grenoble, France. K.Verbist (link). See also the publication in the Journal of Physics: Conference Series 304 (2011).
Stoffenmanager nano 1.0: an online control banding tool for the prioritization of risks related to working with manufactured nano objects. International Conference on Safe production and use of nanomaterials (NanoSafe) November 2010, Grenoble, France. K.Verbist (link).
VEM as a part of a strategy to assess exposure to nano. International Occupational Hygiene Association, September 2010, Rome, Italy. P. Beurskens (link).
Stoffenmanager Nano 1.0: development of a web-based control banding tool for exposure to manufactured nano objects. International Occupational Hygiene Association, September 2010, Rome, Italy. H. Heussen (link).
Good use of nanomaterials in the Netherlands. 4th International Conference on Nanotechnology – Occupational and Environmental Health, Paasitorni Helsinki Finland, August 2009. K. Verbist (link).
PIMEX and nano. 7th Seminar on Work life Development, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) Lappeenranta, 6 October 2009. P. Beurskens (link).
For more information please contact Koen Verbist (firstname.lastname@example.org / +31 6 5250 0028).