SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-033 (AirForce)
Title:  Nano-Particle Effects on ESH
Research & Technical Areas:  Materials/Processes, Human Systems

  STATEMENT OF INTENT: Evaluate the influence of emerging nano-technologies on safety
  Objective:  To evaluate the influence of emerging engineered nanomaterials on environmental, safety, and occupational health (ESH) of Air Force Personnel.
  Description:  The potential and rapid growth of nanotechnology may far outpace the knowledge about associated safety and health risks. To prevent this from happening, timely targeted research is needed to define risks and provide guidance for safe handling of nanomaterials. In response to the need for improved performances, new raw materials, technologies and products are being created. These new materials and processes may be detrimental to the environment as well as safety and health of workers. Application of nanotechnology is one of these areas. Due to the ever-increasing number of DoD applications using nanotechnology, there is a need to investigate ESH issues. Of vital importance to the DoD are the following: 1) Determining the factors that influence the generation, dispersion, deposition, and re-entrainment of nanomaterials in the workplace; 2) quantitatively assessing worker exposure to nanomaterials in the workplace through inhalation or dermal contact; 3) determining the fate and persistence of nanomaterials inside the body of worker; and 4) evaluating and improving the effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) for reducing workplace exposures to nanomaterials. Evaluation of the life-cycle of a weapon system utilizing nanomaterials at this early stage of product/technology development will allow for modifications to be made through pollution prevention instead of the remediation/compliance cycle so common in the government and industry.

  PHASE I: To provide ASC/EN engineers with a preliminary guide that determines the factors influencing the generation, dispersion, deposition, and re-entrainment of nanomaterials in the workplace, including the role of mixed exposures.
  
  PHASE II: Identify control techniques such as source enclosure (i.e., isolating the generation source from the worker) and local exhaust ventilation systems for the effective capture of airborne nanoparticles, based on what is known of nanoparticle motion and behavior in air. Also identify metrics of dose, mechanisms of exposure, and predictive models for toxicity. Provide an ESH guide for nanomaterial exposure and protective processes.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: The Department of Defense (DoD) has high interest in nanotechnology —nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, and magnetics; nanostructured materials “by design”; and bio-nanosensor devices. The DoD supports research to enable physicochemical characterization of nanomaterials and associated toxicology assessments in marine, aeronautical, terrestrial, and space environments. This research includes developing approaches to assess, avoid, and abate adverse health (or environmental) impacts from defense utilization of nanomaterials. www.ostp.gov/. However, this SBIR will lead the way to commercial best practices as well as military practices by quantitatively assessing inhalation and dermal exposures to nanomaterials in both perational and industrial workplaces.

  References:  1. Hussain SM, Hess KL, Gearhart JM, Geiss KT, Schlager JJ (2005) In Vitro Toxicity of Nanoparticles in BRL 3A Rat Liver Cells. Toxicol. In Vitro 19; 975–983 2. Braydich-Stolle L, Hussain S, Schlager J, Hofmann M-C (2005) In Vitro Cytotoxicity of Nanoparticles in Mammalian Germ-Line Stem Cells. Toxicol. Sci. 88(2): 412-419. 3. Hussain SM, Javorina A, Schrand AM, Duhart H, Ali SF, Schlager JJ (2006) The Interaction of Manganese Nanoparticles (Mn-40 nm) with PC-12 Cells Induces Dopamine Depletion. Toxicol. Sci. 4. Colvin, V. (2003) The potential environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials. Nature Biotechnology 21:1166–1170. 5. Oberdorster G, Maynard A, Donaldson K, et al., (2005) Principles for characterizing the potential human health effects from exposure to nanomaterials: elements of a screening strategy. Part Fiber Toxicol. 2 (In Press)

Keywords:  NanoParticles, Engineered nanomaterials, Environmental, Safety, Health, nanotoxicity, Pollution Prevention, Materials Process

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