Environmental Protection

Nanotechnology Council Launches Open-source Wiki

The Rice University-based International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) on June 1 introduced the GoodNanoGuide, an online, community-driven wiki for information about the safe handling of nanomaterials.

The beta version of the GoodNanoGuide can be found at www.GoodNanoGuide.org.

Fostered by ICON, the guide is a highly collaborative, interactive resource by and for the occupational safety and nanotechnology communities, law, and industry.

It is a practical tool for people who handle nanomaterials as well as an online repository of safety protocols. It has been developed by experts from the worlds of nanotechnology, occupational safety, and business and is governed by an implementation committee from North America and Europe.

All content is freely available via the Internet. Visitors may add their comments by becoming "Community Members," and experts may contribute and edit protocols by becoming "Expert Providers."

"Governmental agencies and occupational researchers are generating a lot of good information about how to handle nanomaterials safely," said ICON Director Kristen Kulinowski, a faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice and executive director of the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology. "The GoodNanoGuide points to and supplements these resources with specific protocols that can be used by workers in any setting where they are being handled."

"Progress in addressing the occupational health implications of engineered nanomaterials requires the open sharing of information and the development and dissemination of good guidance," said Charles L. Geraci, chief of the Document Development Branch in the Education and Information Division of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and coordinator of NIOSH's nanotechnology cross-sector program under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). "We are pleased to see international forums of the sort offered by the ICON-sponsored GoodNanoGuide and the opportunity they provide in particular for helping to disseminate NIOSH's research and recommendations, and to make users aware of our resources."

Financial support for the development of the beta site was provided by ICON, nanoAlberta, British Columbia Nanotechnology Alliance-Nanotech BC, Industry Canada, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail and NanoQuebec.

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