Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A. - Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers

Nanoparticles are a new workplace safety concern

Nanoscience is a new field of specialty involving engineered particles that are almost too tiny to imagine. All over the Internet, they are touted as being much smaller than the width of a human hair. 

In the natural world, materials on the nano scale include volcanic ash and soot.

Nanoparticles may be tiny versions of their bulk sources or engineered into something else. According to Safety and Health Magazine, engineered nanoparticles gain new properties when they are microscopically sized. For example, used in finished products, the particles can make them lighter or stronger, or contribute insulation properties. 

Since about 2000, a variety of industries have begun to use nanoparticles in products: 

  • Aircraft
  • Sunscreen
  • Batteries
  • Satellites
  • Soap
  • Sporting goods
  • Furniture
  • Cable and wire coating
  • And others 

Safety concerns for nanotech workers 

Of course, any time an invisible substance is involved, you must be concerned about its potential to harm workers. Think, for example, about the history of asbestos, in which the invisible particles were breathed in in a variety of work settings only to cause fatal cancers in some workers decades later. 

In fact, NIOSH states online that exposure to nanomaterials could reasonably imply results similar to “ultrafine air pollution or other dusts and fumes that cause pulmonary and cardiovascular effects.” Protective worker equipment may include respirators, glasses, globes and protective clothing. 

Safety and Health explains that individual companies are developing their own safety practices to some extent, but that NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, is the government agency is leading nanoparticle safety research. 

NIOSH is one of the 20 agencies making up the National Nanotechnology Initiative. NIOSH’s Nanotechnology Research Center is active in the field doing onsite nanotech workplace assessments, providing employer guidance and collaborating on research.   

Chuck Geraci, NIOSH’s associate director for nanotechnology, says that while the field is evolving very quickly, they are working on the health and safety front to stay ahead of potential injury from working with the particles. 

The World Health Organization or WHO released the first set of health and safety guidelines for workers in the nanotech sectors. (The Safety and Health Magazine article linked to above contains links to the WHO guidelines as well as to four safety documents from NIOSH.) 

At our law firm, we are dedicated to Maryland worker safety. Anyone who suspects injury from exposure to nano particles should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible about workers’ compensation and other potential legal remedies.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • AMERICAN ASSOCIATION for JUSTICE
  • AABA
  • MARYLAND ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE
  • BAR ASSOCIATION OF BALTIMORE CITY | 1880
  • MSBA | MARYLAND STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
  • MARYLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
Email Us For A Response

How can we help you?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A. - Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers

Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A.

347 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: 443-529-0795
Baltimore Law Office Map

153 W Patrick St
Suite A
Frederick, MD 21701

Phone: 443-529-0795
Frederick Law Office Map

112 W Pennsylvania Ave
Suite 302
Bel Air, MD 21014

Phone: 443-529-0795
Bel Air Law Office Map

7420 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Suite 2
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Phone: 443-529-0795
Glen Burnie Law Office Map

1760 Eastern Blvd
Essex, MD 21221

Phone: 443-529-0795
Essex Law Office Map

1 Olympic Place
Suite 900
Towson, MD 21204

Phone: 443-529-0795
Map & Directions
Towson Office Map