Online Program

Occupational exposure assessment and risk management of engineered nanoparticles: A control banding framework

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Michele Shepard, CIH, MS, Nanobioscience, University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Albany, NY
Nanotechnology is currently used in hundreds of industrial processes and commercial products, and has the potential to revolutionize diverse fields and industries. While the unique properties of nanoscale materials may enable technological advancements, uncertainties remain in understanding the hazards, exposures and potential public health impact. Further, these unique properties create challenges in risk assessment as traditional methods may be unsuitable or unvalidated for these materials. The overall research goals are to better understand worker exposures to engineered nanomaterials, as well as relevant methods for exposure assessment and risk management. This is investigated for a nanotechnology widely used in semiconductor device fabrication and involving metal oxide nanoparticles. Control banding, a framework used where there is limited data on hazards or exposures, is being used in this project to assess risks related to work tasks at a study site and determine recommended control methods. The model will be refined through addition of quantitative data (e.g., dustiness measure), and exposure controls recommended by the model will be compared to those currently in use at the site. The overall results and data outputs from application of a control banding model will be compared to those generated from exposure monitoring of the same tasks conducted as part of an earlier study phase. The expected outcomes include recommendations on occupational exposure controls for the work tasks, as well as increased understanding of exposure and risk assessment methods that can be used in workplace risk management decisions for engineered nanomaterials.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Explain current challenges in occupational exposure assessment and risk management of engineered nanoscale materials. Describe application of a control banding model as a framework to assess and control risks from engineered nanoparticles in the workplace.

Keyword(s): Occupational Exposure, Risk Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Certified Industrial Hygienist with 20 years of experience in the study and practice of occupational exposure assessment and risk management. I am currently a PhD candidate and EPA STAR Fellow conducting this research as part of my dissertation. I have been focused on investigation of nanoparticle risks since 2010.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.