Information And Communications Technology

ICT - Overview - EHS - Text

Based on their common usage and/or likely future usage in ICT, eight important materials for ICT are gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, molybdenum disulphide, tungsten selenide, silica (amorphous and crystalline), graphene and silver.

The basis for the evaluation was “Stoffenmanager Nano” application [1,2] a risk-banding tool developed for employers and employ­ees to prioritise health risks occurring as a result of respiratory exposure to nanoparticles for a broad range of worker scenarios.

The respiratory route is the main route of exposure for many occupational scenarios, while the oral route of exposure is considered minor and sufficiently covered, from a safety point of view, by good hygiene practices established in production facilities as prescribed through general welfare provisions in national health and safety legislation in EU countries [3]. In view of the nature of the products in this sector, oral exposure of consumers is also considered to be minor.

The dermal route may be the main route of exposure for some substances or exposure situations, and cause local effects on the skin or systemic effects after absorption into the body [4]. However, nanoparticles as such are very unlikely to penetrate the skin [5] and consequently nano-specific systemic toxicity via the dermal route is improbable. Therefore, when evaluating risks from nanotechnology for the respiratory route, the most important aspects of occupational and consumer safety are covered.

In summary, the highest EHS priority is for graphene and crystalline silica during the production, use and end-of-life phases, while gallium arsenide and nanosilver have intermediate priority in those phases. Molyb­denum disulphide and amorphous silica also have intermediate priority in the production phase, but low priority during use and end-of-life phase in view of a lesser potential of exposure in those phases. For gallium nitride and tungsten selenide no adequate data were available to perform hazard and exposure banding.

  1. Marquart, H., Heussen, H., Le Feber, M., Noy, D., Tielemans, E., Schinkel, J., West, J., Van Der Schaaf, D., 2008. 'Stoffenmanager', a web-based control banding tool using an exposure process model. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 52, 429-441.
  2. Van Duuren-Stuurman, B., Vink, S., Verbist, K.J.M., Heussen, H.G.A., Brouwer, D., Kroese, D.E.D., Van Niftrik, M.F.J., Tielemans, E., Fransman, W., 2012. Stoffenmanager Nano version 1.0: a web-based tool for risk prioritization of airborne manufactured nano objects. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 56, 525-541.
  3. ECHA, 2012. Chapter R.14: Occupational exposure estimation in: Anonymous Guidance on Information Requirements and Chemical Safety Assessment., Version: 2.1 ed. European Chemicals Agency, Helsinki, Finland.
  4. Ibid
  5. Watkinson, A.C., Bunge, A.L., Hadgraft, J., Lane, M.E., 2013. Nanoparticles do not penetrate human skin - A theoretical perspective. Pharm. Res. 30, 1943-1946

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