Nanoparticle Safety UTSI November 2011 Introduction - Nanoparticles Nanoparticles have at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm) They have existed in nature since time began Example – fine particles associated with combustion or volcanic eruptions Only recently (past 20 years) have they been engineered Introduction - Examples of Engineered Nanoparticles Carbons examples - Fullerenes, nanotubes Oxides examples - Titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide Metals examples - Gold, zinc, nickel, copper Semiconductors examples - CdSe, CdS, InAs, InP Polymers/organics examples- liposomes Introduction -Nanoparticles Nano-scale materials may have different properties as compared to the bulk material For example gold is malleable in the bulk form but is brittle and appears red in color at the nano-scale Introduction – Monitoring Measurement of most hazardous air contaminants is done on a mass-to-volume ratio Example milligrams/cubic meter of air This type of measurement is not always acceptable when evaluating nano-scale substances with respect to hazard Introduction-Monitoring Other nanoparticle characteristics, that can’t be easily measured in the workplace, may be more important in hazard assessment for, such as Surface area Number of particles Electrical charge of the particle Agglomeration of particles Particle size Solubility Introduction Nano-scale particles haven’t been fully evaluated with respect to toxicity, especially for chronic exposures. Therefore, it’s necessary to have an increased level of safety to offset uncertainties with respect to risk Controls Traditional controls such as ventilation, respirators, gloves, etc. work well against nanoparticles according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Disposable nitrile gloves are recommended for use with nanoparticles in the UTSI lab Material Safety Data Sheets Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for various materials. However, the MSDS don’t address nanoscale particles of the substance Therefore, professional judgment must be used when conducting hazard evaluations with nano-scale particles. Hazard Assessment Most nano-scale dusts can act as a mechanical irritant to the skin, and mucous membranes (eyes, nose and throat). Nanoparticles in a liquid are not capable of becoming airborne and therefore present less of a hazard Hazard Assessment - Dermal The nanoparticles used at UTSI are sandwiched between transparent adhesive plastic tape. This should make exposure essentially zero However, disposable gloves are recommended as a general precaution. Hazard Assessment - Ingestion Ingestion is highly unlikely for the nanoscale alloy particles used at UTSI Steps to prevent ingestion include: Use gloves while handling the materials Remove gloves and wash hands following work in the lab Don’t allow hand-to-mouth contact (e.g. eating, drinking) while working in the lab. Hazard Assessment - Inhalation Inhalation can be the most significant route of entry into the body for an airborne material. Particles less than 5 microns (5000 nm) in size can penetrate deeply into the lungs where some clearance mechanism (cilia) are not present In addition, smaller particles are likely to stay airborne for a longer period of time Hazard Assessment - Inhalation It’s unlike that any of the nano-scale alloys used at UTSI would be inhaled through routine handling However, inhalation it’s prudent to limit unnecessary Hazard Assessment – Accidental Release In the event an accidental release of the nanoparticles occurs: Avoid breathing the dust Use gloves to clean up the spilled material Use wet methods (damp paper towel or other material) to collect the spill Avoid creating a dust Hazard Assessment – Accidental Release Clean up materials, including personal protective equipment, from a spill may be discarded via regular trash They aren’t considered a hazardous waste. It’s suggested they be placed in a sealed plastic bag and kept damp if possible OSHA Compliance Labeling – Containers of the nano-particles must be labeled The OSHA HazCom labeled should contain: Name of the substance (example: iron oxide) A hazard warning (example: caution, dust may be irritating) Name of the responsible individual (or company) who is familiar with the substance OSHA Compliance Employees who are likely to come in contact with the material should receive training The information in this PowerPoint presentation should meet the requirements for training. Results of training must be documented, which can be done by a quiz, sign-in sheet or by other means. OSHA Compliance Material Safety Data Sheet should be made available to the workers Employee’s should know the location of UTSI’s Hazard Communication Plan (also called HazCom or Right to Know Plan) OSHA Compliance Individuals who are likely to come in contact with the material should know: How to detect the presence or release of a the nanoparticles (such as visual appearance) Methods of self –protection (such as gloves or the use of wet methods for clean up and not eating food or drinking in the lab) Europium Sulfide The chemical, physical and toxicological properties of europium have not been thoroughly investigated and recorded. Europium Sulfide Unable to find an MSDS for Europium Sulfide on the Internet However, it should behave similar to Europium chloride. Information the next two pages regarding europium were taken from: http://www.espirareearth.com/MSDS/Europium%20 Chloride.htm Europium Sulfide Europium metals are moderately to highly toxic. Symptoms of toxicity include writhing, ataxia, labored respiration, walking on the toes with arched back and sedation. Low toxicity by ingestion exposure. Again, exposure is extremely unlikely in the UTSI lab and none of these symptoms are anticipated. Europium Intraperitoneal route is highly toxic Subcutaneous route is poisonous to moderately toxic. The production of lung and skin granulomas after exposure to them requires extensive protection to prevent such exposure Iron Oxide Iron oxide is fairly innocuous and shouldn’t present a distinct health hazard. The primary hazard would be irritation of skin or mucous membranes upon contact A copy of the MSDS can be found at: http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/09765.htm Iron-Cobalt Alloy The primary health effect of an ironcobalt alloy is irritation of the skin or mucous membranes upon contact A material safety data sheet for ironcobalt alloy can be found at: http://www.alloycastproducts.com/docs/MSDS.pdf Cobalt Alloys Cobalt can be hazardous by ingestion or inhalation. An MSDS for cobalt can be found at: http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923518 It’s unlike that exposure will occur in the UTSI lab. Summary The hazards associated with nanoparticles have not been fully characterized. General good lab practice, including the use of gloves, will be enough to control exposure in the UTSI labs Nanoparticles in a liquid are less hazardous as compared to dry powder forms.