Nanotechnology in Construction and Demolition | January 2018

Nanotechnology is an exciting, innovative area promising great benefits to many areas of life, industry and commerce, including construction and the built environment. 

This research, aimed to provide some clarity regarding the current use of nanomaterials in the built environment and was undertaken by Loughborough University. 

A supplementary guide has been developed for health and safety practitioners and industry stakeholders. 

Project lead Dr Wendy Jones said: “The team found that nanomaterials are used primarily in surface coatings, concrete, window glass, insulation and steel in different ways and to differing extents.

Some nanomaterials, such as certain types of carbon nanotube (CNT), are reported as potentially harmful, but these do not currently seem to be in common usage in the UK. In terms of risk, even problematic nanomaterials such as long, straight CNTs will not be hazardous as long as they are embedded in a solid, stable structure. Risk only arises if workers are exposed to certain nanoparticles or nanofibres in the form of dusts or aerosols; this might occur during construction or demolition activities.”

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