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Emerging Exposure Risks and Ethics of the Nanotechnology Workplace

Emerging Exposure Risks and Ethics of the Nanotechnology Workplace
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Author(s): Silvanus J. Udoka (Department of Management, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA) and Chi Anyansi Archibong (Department of Management, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Volume: 3
Issue: 4
Pages: 9
Source title: International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation (IJNMC)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Bruce MacLennan (University of Tennessee - Knoxville, USA) and Keshav Deo Verma (S.V. (P.G.) College, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijnmc.2011100103

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Abstract

As the applications of nanotechnology continue to span various industries, the number of workers who may be in regular contact with nanomaterials correspondingly expand. The excitement associated with the promise of opportunities to create revolutionary advances in product development using nanotechnology must be moderated with the fact that there is a paucity of empirical data about the potential health effects of exposure to nanoparticles. This lack of exposure data hinders the development of nanotechnology health and safety guidelines (Murashov, 2009). Nanotechnology is science at the size of individual atoms and molecules. At that size scale, materials have different chemical and physical properties than those of the same materials in bulk. With the current state of knowledge in this field, there are unanswered questions about the impacts of nanomaterials and nanoproducts on human health and the environment. This paper reviews the state-of the-science, exposure assessment and mitigation, and potential macro ethical issues that must be considered to mitigate risk implications this emerging technology, nanotechnology.

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