First, this is an interesting article:
Also this is a decent GAO report on EPA challenges in regulating nano-manufacturing;
Now some of my previous thoughts on this:
Pollution on Human BioSystem in Manufacturing of Carbon Nanotubes
By: Lance Winslow
One problem in manufacturing has always been worker safety. What will the future of OSHA look like in the United States? As other nations with no worker safety run forward in the Global Market they will enter their Industrial Revolution just like America did. But up until that point they will continue to pollute their water supplies and air and take advantage of their cheap labor.
The United States will have to relax their OSHA Standards or re-align them with reality. Some say any relaxing of such regulations will be a sham and an obvious and careless move against the American worker for increased profits and exploitation of our labor markets here at home.
In making new materials like carbon nanotube sheets many methods will be used such as for instance the possible use of frequency fields in the microwave area, chemical ionic bonding and high amounts of heat. All of which might be very dangerous to human beings.
Perhaps robots will be assigned such tasks, yet frequency pollution in the work place can be highly disruptive to the human bio-system and health. This can lead to free radicals, cancer or other diseases. Although these issues have not been satisfactorily addressed it is important to study along with the various methods being introduced to manufacture carbon nanotubes.
A schematic of each method must be studied to make sure, none of the polluted bi-products are released into the environment or in an area which they may enter the human bio-system. Due to the nature of working with such small dimensions, it maybe a painstaking set of procedures, which will need to be introduced to make the manufacturing of carbon nanotube material possible and safe.
As the industry attempts to address these issues and come up with adequate protocols everyone is concerned as we do not need a repeat of the Asbestos issues, which caused havoc and cost many their lives. So it is essential and paramount that we address these issues to the satisfaction of all.
Scientists are working on ways to do this now and learning as they go. Designing filters, which can protect us will be difficult due to the micro scale we will be working with, however there are ways to keep the particles controlled during the process. Next we must take this process to a much higher level so we can mass-produce them to help fuel efficiency and safety for all carbon nanotubes many uses.
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Costs in Carbon Nanotube Sheet Manufacturing Hurting Safety
By: Lance Winslow
The incredible properties of carbon nanotube technology means light weight material, transparency and strengths 50-250 times that of steel. This means added safety to aircraft, cars, buses and trains. It also means tremendous efficiencies in fuel.
Indeed such material maybe used to build houses, bridges and buildings in the path of potential storm surges from Super Hurricanes or over Earthquake faults. Since it can be very flexible it maybe the perfect material.
Unfortunately the costs to produce a single carbon nanotube sheet is presently so expensive that any material made will be immediately allotted to the very most important uses. For instance Space Ships, Presidential Limousine, military aircraft, bulletproof vests or testing its properties in labs. Therefore it will be a long time until we have large amounts of the material to make trucks, school buses and passenger cars with it, although that will surely come in time.
In the case of school buses most school districts are strapped with cash and cannot afford to replace buses due to budget constraints. Indeed, the high diesel prices are putting even more of a burden on the transportation divisions in school districts now, as well as city buses. The safety in the future will come from buses being less top heavy and therefore fewer will tip over. The efficiency in fuel costs will come from the incredible reduction in weight.
Right now the cost for a carbon nanotube sheet is very high, however in five years that may not be the case and in ten years carbon nanotube sheets will be mass-produced by most industrialized nations. Think on this.
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Abatement Class of Nano Manufacturing Materials
By: Lance Winslow
One of the biggest breakthroughs for scientists in nano technology is building super tiny machines, which will replicate and build themselves. These tiny devices can build themselves and help make materials stronger than we had ever dreamed of. But what happens when these little bots keep going and will not stop?
What if a nanotech manufacturing facility allows these super tiny nanotech devices, which are so small they are hard to contain, escape the manufacturing facility and building and begin building themselves? Then what? Well then we have a serious problem and it has already happened too.
When one scientist went out side the building to measure the area and found that the levels of particles were too high? Well it freaked him out and his employer and thus now scientists are considering these issues? Perhaps you recall the book “Prey” which was a Sci Fi Book which somewhat addressed this subject?
What we are going to need is an abatement class of Nano Manufacturing Materials, which will seek and destroy these rogue runaway nano-particles, because once they escape it will be nearly impossible to catch them or stop them, because they are hard to detect and so small they are impossible to see. Consider all this in 2006.
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Abatement Cleaning of Exterior Areas of Nano Manufacturing Buildings
By: Lance Winslow
As the world of nano manufacturing at the molecular level continues and as our greatest minds and universities propel thought and innovation into future periods and focus all the research and development of new materials and solutions for mankind's most challenging and pressing issues; we must understand what we're doing and safeguard against possible contaminants giving out all the laboratory and into the wild. It behooves the human race to have protocols and procedures for the abatement and cleaning of exterior areas around nano manufacturing buildings to ensure that the materials do not get into the lungs of animals or humans and do not self replicate outside lab.
Just because we have the ability to play God and take the human race to the next level of evolution does not mean we should put the cart before the horse and charge off into the future half cocked. It would be foolish for us not to design protocols and abatement cleaning procedures for nano manufacturing buildings and laboratories.
Although we are not quite sure what we will be up against we do know that nano tech materials will be so small that they can escape the work area and therefore we may need larger membranes and airflows that are ironically charged to collect any material that escapes the manufacturing area. Please consider this in 2006 as it is a very serious issue, which we will be facing in the near future.
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Please consider these issues.