QuantumSphere Successfully Partners with NIOSH to Help Define Best Practices for Manufacture and Safe Handling of Nanomaterials
QuantumSphere, Inc., a leading manufacturer of nano metals and alloys for applications in renewable energy, portable power, defense, electronics and other markets demanding advanced materials, today announced that it has completed the final phase of a voluntary study with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The study assisted QuantumSphere in developing internal environmental, health, and safety (EH&S;) guidelines for the safe handling of nanomaterials based on findings and recommendations made by NIOSH. The partnership allowed QuantumSphere to proactively work with NIOSH to evaluate their facility to ensure the health and safety of its employees and the environment.
Working with NIOSH, QuantumSphere completed a voluntary field study of its facilities with the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. After the company implemented the recommendations of NIOSH’s field study, the agency revisited the company’s facility and measurements taken by the NIOSH field team demonstrated a substantial reduction (90%) in workplace emissions of the engineered nanoparticles. Based on the foregoing, the agency has concluded that the control procedures implemented by the company have reduced nanoparticle emissions, and the associated potential worker exposure, to background levels, and the company has concluded that no further action is necessary to reduce engineered nano-scale materials (ENM) emissions in the manufacturing of nano materials in order to protect the safety of employees and the environment.
As a manufacturer of nanoscale materials with particle sizes well below 100 nm, QuantumSphere is a leader in developing and implementing EH&S; standards, methods and practices required when working with such materials, and to ensure the absolute safety and health of its employees, the public, and the environment. Acting upon NIOSH recommendations, QuantumSphere implemented engineering controls and procedures to reduce the emission produced during the production of ENM.
“We are pleased that upon the completion of the NIOSH review, and the implementation of NIOSH recommendations, it was determined that no additional measures were necessary to safeguard our employees and the environment,” said Brendan McKenney, Director of Operations. “QuantumSphere’s EH&S; strategic plan, developed to characterize its products and establish best practices for their manufacturing, handling and use, is taken very seriously and setting precedence within the industry.”
After an initial measurement effort conducted in February, the NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Team was invited back to QuantumSphere’s Santa Ana, CA facilities for a follow-up visit to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s ENMs emission reductions solution. This visit was the final phase of an ongoing NIOSH research program with QuantumSphere. NIOSH has visited multiple nanomaterial-handling facilities in an effort to better understand the possible occupational safety and health implications, as well as general applications of nanotechnology.
Working in partnership with recognized industry experts, academia and public research institutions, such as NIOSH, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Florida, QuantumSphere has set a high standard for environmental, health, and safety practices.
“A partnership with an industry manufacturer and supplier such as QuantumSphere represents a significant step towards generating the data required for a better understanding of the nature of nanomaterials and developing best practices for their safe use,” said Certified Industrial Hygienist Mark Methner, Ph.D., leader of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Team.
The data generated by this partnership will be used as the basis for a two-pronged approach to EH&S; excellence in nano-manufacturing. The first goal is to eliminate the risk of material loss from operational processes through the voluntary use of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Process Safety Methodology (PSM). The second goal is to continuously identify and eliminate potential worker exposure opportunities by the application of appropriate engineering controls, administrative controls, and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment for process operations.
“We are absolutely dedicated to the safety and health of our employees, the public, and the environment and with our philosophy of absolute transparency, we will continue to build credibility and trust with government regulators, customers, partners, and the investing public,” QuantumSphere’s President and CEO, Kevin Maloney, said. “The NIOSH partnership is fantastic and has provided valuable input into QuantumSphere’s effort to ensure the health and safety of all employees. The support and collaboration we received from NIOSH bodes well for the future as we continue down the path of innovation in this new and rapidly developing industry.”
Note: The mention of NIOSH does not constitute a NIOSH commercial endorsement of QuantumSphere or its products. Click here to view the 2007 NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Study Report for QuantumSphere: http://www.qsinano.com/tech_eh_s.php
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