Every state (and the District of Columbia) in the US has been “nanoteched.” The Project on Emerging Nanotechnology (PEN) has just released information that they have listed over 1200 (an increase of 50% since the last data gathering project 2 years ago) universities, government laboratories, and businesses that are involved in nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization. They have also produced an interactive map to display the information. (media release on Azonano and also on Nanowerk News where they include an editorial note that their directory has over 1600 nanotechnology agencies listed)
Sadly, later this week the European Respiratory Journal will be publishing a paper that examines the deaths of two female workers in China who worked with and were exposed to nanoparticles over a period of 13 months. Azonano has posted what I suspect is a media advisory that Dr. Kristen Kulinowski of Rice University and director of the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) is available to answer for questions about the paper. Kulinowski and ICON have been instrumental in the development of the GoodNanoGuide (still in beta), a wiki featuring safe handling procedures for nanomaterials. From Azonano,
The paper to be published by the European Respiratory Journal this week examines the case of seven female workers, ages 18-47, who were exposed for up to 13 months to nanoparticles in a polyacrylate material air-sprayed onto polystyrene. All suffered shortness of breath and pleural effusions, an excess of fluid in the pleural cavity that surrounds the lungs, and were admitted to hospitals where examinations revealed nanoparticles in chest fluid and lodged in cells. The women who died were 19 and 29.
According to Kulinowski, a “conventional chemical hygiene plan” could have afforded protection to the workers.