Nanotoxicology and Exposure in the Occupational Setting

Abstract

Nanotechnology refers to the ability to control the composition of molecules and atoms within the range of 1.00 - 100 nm. At this scale, many materials exhibit novel properties when compared with their micro or macro-sized equivalents, including, for example, chemical reactivity, strength, mobility and solubility. Nanoparticles are prime candidates for toxicity because they possess a much greater surface to volume ratio (i.e. the surface area compared to the volume) than larger particles of that same material; they can have biopersistance and higher oxidant capacity, penetrate epithelium and reach interstitial pulmonary region. In an industrial setting, workers may present the main exposure risk potential among humans, and they may be involved in the entire product life cycle. There are needs to protect public and environmental health and safety. Currently, no standards or regulations exist that apply or refer specifically to nanomaterials impacts.

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Peixe, T. , Souza Nascimento, E. , Schofield, K. , Arcuri, A. and Bulcão, R. (2015) Nanotoxicology and Exposure in the Occupational Setting. Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, 3, 35-48. doi: 10.4236/odem.2015.33005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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