Nanotechnology and nanomaterials are believed to have a profound impact on the quality of building structures, mitigating pollution, and controlling bacteria in hospitals. This emerging technology comes with a risk to those handling it, however.
According to ScienceDaily, nanoparticles – which are sized between 1-100 nanometers – have been linked to lung damage. The article cites a Chinese study which found that nanoparticles found in certain medicines induced lung damage by causing cell death.
Awareness of the risks of nanotechnology
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) conducted a survey of 253 construction workers within 24 types of construction areas in California regarding their understanding of nanotechnology. According to the survey, only 25 percent of respondents reported being aware of nanotechnology or nanoparticles in construction materials. Twenty percent reported never hearing of it.
What many of these construction workers didn’t know was that they were being exposed to nanomaterials every time they came to work, though forty-four percent of respondents were able to identify construction products that were “nano-enabled.”
The purpose of the survey was to raise awareness among union leaders, apprenticeship program staff, and employers within the construction and industrial sectors.
Since nanotechnology is still new, it’s still too early to identify all health risks associated with exposure to nanoparticles. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nanoparticles found in welding fumes are known for having a toxic and carcinogenic impact on human health. Additionally, nanoparticles may cause health complications like exposure to dust, air pollution, and other fumes might cause.
Nanotechnology isn’t just confined to industrial and construction sectors. It’s becoming widely utilized in all areas of commerce. That means workers in a wide range of occupations can develop health complications due to exposure to nanoparticles. It’s crucial that employers offer training on nanotechnology safety in order to mitigate the risk of an employee developing a potentially life-threatening illness.
Toxic workplace exposure can result in health complications that can take months, possibly years, to recover from. If you have become ill due to exposure to harmful substances, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
The process for filing a workers’ compensation claim in San Diego is more complicated than you think. Without legal representation, your claim could be denied. That’s why it’s critical that you notify your employer, seek immediate medical help, and consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
The legal team at McLaughlin & Sanchez can handle the rest. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.