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Nano safety equipment may not be adequate

Oct. 14, 2009 at 12:51 PM

MONTREAL, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A Canadian study suggests current equipment designed to protect workers who handle nanomaterials might not offer adequate protection.

Canadian engineers say urgent research is needed into the risks associated with the growing field of nanotechnology manufacturing so appropriate protective equipment can be developed.

Patricia Dolez of School of Higher Technology in Montreal, who led the study, notes skin is not an impervious membrane so protective clothing and gloves, in addition to respirators, are often an essential and common sight in the chemical industry.

But Dolez says the anticipated hazards associated with nanomaterials remain largely unknown. Dolez and colleagues note current regulations and standards testing for protective clothing and equipment are almost void of references to nanomaterials.

The study is to appear in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Nanotechnology.

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