National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Environ Health Perspect v. Environ Health Perspect. Published online Sep Paul A.
Schulte 1 and Fabio Salamanca-Buentello 2. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Address correspondence to P. Telephone: Fax: E-mail: vog. Received Jun 23; Accepted Sep Copyright notice. Publication of EHP lies in the public domain and is therefore without copyright. All text from EHP may be reprinted freely. Use of materials published in EHP should be acknowledged for example,? Reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives?
Articles from EHP, especially the News section, may contain photographs or illustrations copyrighted by other commercial organizations or individuals that may not be used without obtaining prior approval from the holder of the copyright. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract In the absence of scientific clarity about the potential health effects of occupational exposure to nanoparticles, a need exists for guidance in decisionmaking about hazards, risks, and controls.
Keywords: ethics, hazards, nanotechnology, occupational safety and health, particles, toxicology.
Nanotechnology/Nano and Society - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Framework for Ethical Assessment The framework for considering the ethical issues can be drawn from the work of Gert et al. Table 1 Ethical issues pertaining to workplace situations involving nanomaterials. Open in a separate window. Knowledge about hazards and risks Health effects data on workers involved with nanotechnology are limited because of the incipient nature of the field, the relatively small number of workers potentially exposed to date, and the lack of time for chronic disease to develop and be detected.
Evidence base for hazard controls The most frequently used model of the workplace environment identifies sources of hazards and routes of exposure e. Figure 1.
Table 2 Summary of the state of knowledge for nanoparticle hazards and controls. Awareness of knowledge Content of knowledge hazards and controls 1. What we know we know Health effects of ultrafines, air pollution, and fibers How to control ultrafine particles in the workplace Importance of size, surface area, and surface characteristics Serious health effects of some nanoparticles in animals Translocation of some nanomaterials along the olfactory nerve in animals 2.
Selecting and implementing controls The critical ethical question related to control of nanoparticles is whether sufficient controls are being implemented to prevent injury and illness. Establishing medical screening programs Medical screening is the application of tests to asymptomatic persons to detect those in the early stages of disease or at risk of disease. Ensuring adequate investment in toxicological and control research Ethical issues cannot be adequately addressed for nanotechnology without sufficient knowledge of the hazards involved.
Promoting respect for persons Underlying the debates about nanotechnology has been the issue of tolerating the potential for harm to some in the context of anticipated benefits to society. Strategies for Supporting Ethical Decisionmaking Placing special emphasis on small businesses The occupational safety and health problems of small businesses have been a major focus of concern, particularly in the last decade, since most workplaces are classified as small i. Adopting a global perspective The growth of nanotechnology is a global phenomenon that requires a global approach to hazards and risks, particularly in the workplace.
Conclusions The ethical questions about nanotechnology in the workplace arise from the state of knowledge about the hazards of nanomaterials and the risks they may pose to workers. Footnotes We thank the following for input or comments on earlier drafts: M.
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