Tag Archives: Ecole de technologie superieure

Change your gloves frequently if you’re handling nanoparticles

Québec’s IRSST (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail) has issued a May 16, 2012 news release about the results of a study on gloves and nanoparticles,

After developing a sampling protocol and selecting the best analysis and measurement techniques, the research team carried out preliminary tests using four models of nitrile, latex, neoprene and butyl rubber protective gloves and commercial titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles in powder and colloidal solution form. “The results appear to indicate that powder nanoparticles penetrated the disposable nitrile gloves after seven hours of repeated deformation, while the butyl gloves appeared to be impermeable,” explained investigator Patricia Dolez, the main author of the report. “As for nanoparticles in colloidal solutions, we measured a possibility of penetration through the gloves, in particular when the gloves were subjected to repeated deformation. These preliminary data, which need to be validated by additional studies, show that it is important to continue work in this field.”

Based on the results, the research team recommends that care be taken when choosing and using this type of personal protective equipment. “We recommend replacing, at regular intervals, protective gloves that are worn, especially thinner gloves, and gloves that have been exposed to nanoparticles in colloidal solutions,” Dr. Dolez concluded.

H/T to the June 14, 2012 news item on Nanowerk for alerting me to this work.

You can get a copy of the study, Développement d’une méthode de mesure de la pénétration des nanoparticules à travers les matériaux de gants de protection dans des conditions simulant l’utilisation en milieu de travail , but it is in French only, as of today June 14, 2012. The abstract has been translated into English. I last mentioned one of the investigators, Patricia Dolez, in passing in my Oct. 14, 2009 posting.

ETA June 14, 2012: I should also have mentioned that this was joint project with researchers from the École de technologie supérieure, École Polytechnique, and Université de Montréal were working on this project with the team from IRSST.

Body computing; Canadian scientists talk about nano safety

Did you know that a pedometer is considered body computing? I had not realized that before reading Chris Dannen’s Fast Company article, Million-Dollar Question: Who Owns Your Genetic Data? The body computing concept includes implanted, digested, or wearable devices that transmit health data.  From the article,

But the fundamental shift that comes with body computing, says Dr. Leslie Saxon, cofounder of the Body Computing Conference, is “dignifying the patient by allowing them access in a connected world.”But does access equal ownership?

This, of course, was written in the US and I believe that they have  a different legal approach than the one we have in Canada to issues such as owning genetic material. Still, it’s food for thought as we devise new means to monitor health and interface with computers.

In a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Nanotechnology, Patricia Dolez of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the École de technologie supérieure in Montreal (Canada) along with her colleagues have published a paper which suggests that the current safety gear may not be adequate for protection from handling potentially noxious nanomaterials.