Nanomaterial research promises many great things in the near future. One of which is the advancements in the modern miracle of medicine, i.e. pharmaceuticals.
Some unique properties of nanomaterials have opened the eyes of researchers to new ways of treating diseases that have never been achievable in the past. Their unique mass to surface area ratio allows them to contact many more surfaces with very little mass which could make future possibilities and applications limitless.
Before we can even think about the future, we have to accept the present. Researchers are hard at work in the lab using nanomaterials in new and different ways to make these great leaps in technology. And as we have seen many times in history it is not always apparent the personal risks researchers take until it is too late. Madame Curie, known for her ground breaking research, died from the not yet known risks of her research.
So, are nanomaterial scientists at risk? Current research is showing that is could be a real possibility. NIOSH even cautions researchers working with nano-sized particulates to use an engineering control to lessen the likelihood of inhalation. "Given the limited amount of information about health risks that may be associated with nanomaterials, taking measures to minimize worker exposures is prudent." ¹
Labconco offers the only engineering control on the market that was designed specifically for nanoparticulate capture. The XPert® Nano Enclosure is a specialty balance enclosure designed for applications that require nanoparticulate manipulation.
In fact, it is the only enclosure to be validated for nanomaterial containment as tested by NanoSafe, Inc.
This enclosure is equipped with an ULPA filter which is 99.999% efficient at 0.12 um. Constructed with an entirely stainless steel interior, the XPert Nano addresses static dissipation by limiting static insulative surfaces in the material of construction. Secondly, the stainless steel lends itself to easy clean up.
The integrated work surface assures the user that there are no nooks or crannies for particulates to hide for future cross-contamination.
The XPert Nano offers an optional ionizer to add ions (positive and negative) into the airstream to neutralize any charge that could be harbored on surfaces of instrumentation placed inside the enclosure. The XPert Nano is available in widths ranging from 2’ to 6’.
Please contact Labconco for more information.
¹ NIOSH/CDC Guide, "Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology. Managing the Health and Safety Concerns Associated with Engineered Nanomaterials.