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Monday, June 10, 2013

Nanotechnology in the Workplace

Today's post comes from guest author Leonard Jernigan from The Jernigan Law Firm.

During cancer research in 1986 an accident created the first man-made nanoparticle, an incredibly small particle which can absorb radiant energy and theoretically destroy a tumor. One type of nanoparticle is 20 times stronger than steel and is found in over 1,300 consumer products, including laptops, cell phones, plastic bottles, shampoos, sunscreens, acne treatment lotions and automobile tires. It is the forerunner of the next industrial revolution.

What is the problem? Unfortunately, nanoparticles are somewhat unpredictable and no one really knows how they react to humans. 

A report out of China claims that two nano-workers died as a result of overexposure, and in Belgium five males inhaled radioactive nanoparticles in an experiment and within 60 seconds the nanoparticles shot straight into the bloodstream, which is a potential setup for disaster. 

In a survey of scientists 30% listed "new health problems" associated with nanotechnology as a major concern.

Lewis L. Laska, a business law professor, wrote an article in Trial Magazine (September, 2012) in which he advised lawyers to become knowledgeable about nanoscience and be aware of the potential harm to workers and others who come in contact with this new technology, particularly because the EPA, FDA and OSHA have neither approved nor disapproved the use of nanostructures in products. 

It has been said that workers are like canaries in the cage (in mining operations), and if nanoscience is a danger then workers’ compensation lawyers will be the first to see it and appreciate it.

For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.  Click here now to submit a case inquiry.

Read more about nanotechnology and the workers' compensation:

Sep 20, 2011
"Research has shown that materials on this small scale begin to exhibit physical, chemical, and biological behaviors that are quite unique. These unique properties raise concerns about the health impacts of nanotechnology, ...
Oct 28, 2010
According to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology, by the summer of 2009 there were 1,015 consumer products using nanotechnology. That represents nearly a 19-fold increase over the 54 products listed in 2005.
Dec 31, 2010
On Wednesday, April 8, 2009 [74 FR 15985], the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced in the Federal Register plans to evaluate ...
Nov 17, 2009
The emerging area of nanotechnology has brought with it concerns over worker safety. NIOSH has now released a progress report concerning this technology. NIOSH's goals are: 1. Determine whether nanoparticles and ...