Handling Nanomaterials Safely: Tools and Tips for Researchers
(9/27/2011) 49 minutes
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To ensure that nanotechnology remains a driving force for discovery and economic development for decades to come, the nanoscience and engineering community must play an active role in defining and reducing possible risks associated with this important new technology. In the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN), one of our primary goals is to elucidate how physicochemical properties of engineered nanomaterials influence the biological and environmental activity of nanomaterials and hence to elucidate core principles that will enable the development of next generation materials that retain their desired activities but are inherently safer by design. While our understanding of how to predict and reduce the hazards of nanomaterials is still in its infancy, there exists compelling evidence in the scientific literature to suggest that some (but certainly not all) nanomaterials pose threats to human health and the environment. Despite the current uncertainty about which new nanomaterials may be harmful to the people who make and characterize them, as mentors of emerging scientists and engineers, we all feel a moral imperative to ensure that the people we train are being adequately protected now.


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