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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Workers Compensation and Nanotechnology - The New Frontier

NIOSH research has revealed that breathing nanoparticles may result in damaging health effects.

"Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize countless products, create computers smaller and faster than once could be imagined, and fight diseases such as cancer. 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. Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at a near-atomic scale. Nanoparticles measure from 1 to 100 nanometers in size, with 1 billion nanometers forming a meter. For comparison, a billion inches would nearly circle the Earth 2 times."
  • A 2004 survey estimatedthat nearly 25,000 U.S. workers were employed at businesses that exclusively produced nanotechnology products.
  • Nanoparticles can enter the body through many routes including inhalation, swallowing, ingestion, and absorption through the skin.
  • Nanotechnology may present health risks but it can also be used to protect workers. New respirator designs, for instance, use nanotechnology to create more effective filters to block harmful substances.
Authors of Inhalation Versus Aspiration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in C57BL/6 Mice: Inflammation, Fibrosis, Oxidative Stress, and Mutagenesis—Anna Shvedova, Elena Kisin, Ashley Murray, Victor Johnson, Olga Gorelik, Sivaram Arepalli, Ann Hubbs, Robert Mercer, Phouthone Keohavong, Nancy Sussman, J. Jin, J. Yin, Samuel Stone, The-hsun Chen, Gregory Deye, Andrew Maynard, Vince Castranova, Paul Baron, and Valerian Kagan; Health Effects Laboratory Division; NIOSH—received the 2009 Alice Hamilton Award in the Biological Sciences category.
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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.