Nanomaterials in construction and demolition-how can we assess the risk if we don't know where they are?
journal contributionposted on 2015-07-31, 11:10 authored by Wendy JonesWendy Jones, Alistair Gibb, Chris GoodierChris Goodier, Phil Bust, Jie Jin, Mo Song
This research, funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health in the United Kingdom, has used a combination of literature review, web searching and unstructured interviews with a range of industry professionals to compile a list of products used in construction and the built environment which might contain nanomaterials. Samples of these products have been analysed using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive XRay Spectroscopy to investigate whether nanomaterials are actually present and to what extent. Preliminary results of this testing are presented here. It is concluded that there is a discrepancy between the academic literature and the reality regarding the current application of nanomaterials in the construction industry and the built environment. There are also inaccuracies and deficiencies in the information provided by manufacturers which makes it difficult to accurately assess the location and application of nanomaterials within the industry. Further testing is planned to evaluate the risk of nanoparticle release from nano-enabled building products at their end of life by reproducing common demolition and recycling processes such as crushing, grinding, burning and melting. Results of this will form the basis of practical guidance for the construction, demolition and recycling industries to help them identify where particular protection or control measures may be appropriate as well as providing reassurance where no additional action is required.
This research is funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and their support is gratefully acknowledged. Additional support from the Institute of Demolition Engineers and the National Federation of Demolition Contactors is also acknowledged.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering