1.2 Scope of the review The review was commissioned by Safe Work Australia to address the following matters: identify Australian and overseas businesses, research institutions and organisations that are engaged in the examination of the potential substitution of engineered nanomaterials, and the topics being examined evaluate research results relating to substitution/modification, including consideration of whether the modified materials maintain required functionality identify potential substitution/modification opportunities, and compare the hazardous properties of currently used engineered nanomaterials with their substitutes where possible evaluate potential opportunities for the protection of health and safety in Australian workplaces, and identify issues for further consideration. 10
Input from relevant sources of nanotechnology, occupational hygiene, toxicology, particle characterisation and other scientific expertise was sought to ensure the accuracy of the assessment and relevance for nanotechnology applications in Australia. Two strategies were used in this study: a) a survey of individuals employed in Australian nanotechnology-related activities in order to identify Australian businesses, research institutions and organisations that are engaged in the examination of potential substitution/modification of engineered nanomaterials, and to identify the engineered nanomaterials being examined b) a literature review of the possible substitution and modification options for the range of engineered nanomaterials that are used in Australia which may reduce potential health and safety risks. In addition, the literature review covers relevant background material, e.g. toxicology, that is important in understanding substitution/modification options for different engineered nanomaterials. 11
2 Substitution/modification of nanomaterials survey 2.1 Results of previous surveys on nanomaterials used in Australia The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) for Australia issued a voluntary call for information on nanomaterials in February 2006. The notice appeared in the Chemical Gazette which is a monthly publication containing information relevant to NICNAS, such as changes to NICNAS legislation, newly assessed chemicals and the register of industrial chemical introducers. The call for information was directed to all persons who manufactured or imported nanomaterials or products (mixtures) containing nanomaterials for industrial uses during 2005 and 2006. Companies were asked to provide information on the types of nanomaterials, their volume of introduction and uses. Nanomaterials used exclusively as therapeutic goods (such as sunscreens), food or food additives and agricultural or veterinary chemicals, do not fall within the scope of NICNAS and were consequently outside the call for information (NICNAS 2007).
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