Inderscience Publishers

Dangers of nanotechnology: potential fire concerns and safety frameworks

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The benefits of engineering of functional systems at the nanometre-scale as one of the key technologies of the 21st century almost always imply grave risks. The increasing speed of nanotechnology commercialisation and development has apparently outstripped the study of health and safety data. A potential hazard of nanopowders that appears to have received little attention so far is their explosivity. It is apparent that there is a general lack of sufficient research activity and understanding of the properties of nanoparticles in the context of their ignition and explosion potential. This paper represents current scientific findings and understandings of the risk of dust explosion of nanomaterials, in particular the multi-walled carbon nanotubes, aluminium nanoparticles and carbon blacks, and presents safety measures in occupational settings.

Keywords: nanotechnology, nanopowders, fire, explosion risk, occupational safety, multi-walled CNTs, MWCNTs, carbon nanotubes, aluminium nanoparticles, carbon blacks, nanoparticle ignition, dust explosion, nanomaterials, risk assessment

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