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The 5 Principles of Design for Safer Nanotechnology

Nanoparticles have been incorporated in  hundreds of  different types of  products, and the novel properties of nanomaterials offer great promise to provide new  technological breakthroughs.  However, nanotechnology is  an  emerging technology which has potential health and safety risks throughout its product life  cycle. The  health risk  of a nanoparticle is a function of both its  hazard to human health and its exposure potential. It is prudent for  companies to try  to mitigate the potential risks of nanoparticles during the design stage rather than downstream during manufacturing or customer use. The  intent of his  paper is to propose five  design principles for  product  designers to use during the design stage for products that contain nanoparticles. By using these design principles, the health risk of the nanoparticle may be mitigated by  potentially lowering the hazard and/or the exposure potential of the nanoparticle. These proposed design principles are largely untested and are offered as an  initial framework that will require more testing, validation, and refinement.

Journal of Cleaner Production, October 2009