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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

 

University of Minnesota

Superfund Research Program

Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training Program

Program Director: Peter Raynor
Grant Number: R25ES23595
Funding Period: July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016

Summary

The key to avoiding health and safety issues with emerging technologies is to anticipate exposure risks and take action to mitigate them before they occur. To ensure that these risks are anticipated so that emerging industries grow without causing illness or injury to workers or the public, the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, and Dakota County Technical College have formed the Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training (METPHAST) Program. The objective of the METPHAST Program is to develop a comprehensive array of focused, web-based modules that can be used by instructors to tailor education and training initiatives on the health and safety of nanotechnology to serve the unique needs of different learners.

To achieve the objective, the researchers are:

  1. Developing web-based materials to train professionals to work safely with engineered nanomaterials;
  2. Establishing on-line academic courses for undergraduate and graduate training on the principles of working safely with nanomaterials; and
  3. Raising awareness of the modules, activities, and academic curricula through publications and conference presentations.

Learners who will use training materials developed by the METPHAST Program include:

  • Industrial hygiene students;
  • Students in other health, science, engineering, and technology disciplines;
  • Specialists who require focused continuing education on the health and safety of specific emerging technologies; and
  • Secondary and post-secondary students who may be exposed to individual lessons chosen by their instructors.

The program is innovative because it streamlines and integrates academic and professional training to meet the needs of specific learners. The modules will be freely available to any instructor who wishes to use them, thus having a regional, national, and global reach.