QuantumSphere Completes Baseline Facility Review and Nanomaterial Workplace Testing with NIOSH
QuantumSphere, Inc., a leading manufacturer of nano metals and alloys for applications in portable power, renewable energy, electronics and other markets demanding advanced materials, today announced that it has completed a baseline assessment and facility review on potential nanomaterial exposure in the workplace as part of a voluntary collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.
As a manufacturer of nanoscale materials with particle sizes well below 100 nm, QuantumSphere is a leader in developing and implementing the environmental, health and safety (EH&S;) standards, methods and practices required to work with such materials and ensure the absolute safety and health of our employees, the public, and the environment. “We sum up our commitment to environmental, health and safety excellence with one phrase: The Goal is Zero,” said Ryan Armasu, Vice President of Operations at QuantumSphere, “this means zero accidents, zero injuries and illnesses, and zero environmental incidents.” To reach its goal of “zero” QuantumSphere initiated an EH&S; strategic plan in 2006 to develop the comprehensive body of data needed to characterize its products and establish best practices for their manufacturing, handling, and use.
As part of this project, earlier this month the NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Team was invited to visit QuantumSphere’s manufacturing facility in Santa Ana, California to perform a baseline assessment of potential workplace emissions and materials/chemical handling techniques. This visit was requested by QuantumSphere under the ongoing NIOSH research program to visit multiple nanomaterial-handling facilities in an effort to better understand and learn of the possible occupational safety and health implications, as well as general applications of nanotechnology. NIOSH recommended only one minor engineering control improvement consisting of the addition of a portable exhaust system to augment the efficiency of clean-in-place processes.
By developing partnerships and working with recognized industry experts, academia and public research institutions, such as NIOSH; University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of Florida, QuantumSphere is striving to set a high standard for the 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 and effective handling,” said Mark Methner, Ph.D., CIH, Leader of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Team.
This data will be utilized as the basis for a two pronged approach to EH&S; excellence: (1) eliminate the risk of material loss from operational processes through the voluntary use of OSHA’s Process Safety Methodology (PSM), and (2) 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,” QuantumSphere’s President and CEO, Kevin Maloney said, “and in that regard, we strongly believe that early, proactive, and transparent relationships between industry and government are extremely important for the formulation of environmental, health and safety standards for a new and rapidly developing industry.”
Note: The mention of NIOSH does not constitute a NIOSH commercial endorsement of QuantumSphere or its products.
[ return to table of contents ]