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Safety with Carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes possess extraordinary electrical, mechanical, optical, thermal, and chemical properties and find wide applications ranging from improving consumer electronics, to medicine delivery to cells, to strengthening airplane components. But their safe-handling and environmentally sound handling by academic, governmental and industry organizations is very important.
Carbon nanotubes come in many different forms and purities. They range from flexible, thin, few-walled or single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs, typically short (less than 5 micron in length), very specialized, high molecular weight fullerene nanotubes which have single or very few walls to rigid, long, thick, multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs, typically long (greater than 10 micron), with a spectrum of characteristics and properties in-between with fibril structures with a high concentration of defects and little tendency to rope and tangle. Many of the nanotubes marketed by are incorporated into transparent conductive films for the display and touch panel industries. nanotubes are sold to select customers as powders and in suspensions in liquids, also called inks.

Public safety
Due to difficulty in safe-handling requirements these materials, manufacturers do not sell nanotubes directly to the public and the consumer products containing nanotubes have minimal risk of exposure because the nanotubes are bound in polymeric solid or film, isolated from the consumer and environment. The customers for ink and powder products are companies and research institutions that use the nanotubes as a component in a final product. All customers that purchase nanotube products receive the appropriate Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product. The MSDS details the currently accepted best practices for personal protective equipment and outlines safe handling practices for nanomaterials.

Industrial safety
The chemical industries adopt well-established procedures for protecting workers who are handling nanotube powders of unknown toxicity with protective equipment provides adequate safe handling protection. of course carbon nanotube products can be safely managed with engineering controls such as closed reactor systems, hoods, and mechanical ventilation systems. Waste materials resulting from the manufacture of nanotubes are disposed of in accordance with regulations.

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