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Final Progress Reports: University of Minnesota: Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training Program

Superfund Research Program

Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training Program

Project Leader: Peter Raynor
Grant Number: R25ES023595
Funding Period: 2013-2021

Program Links

Final Progress Reports

Year:   2015 

Researchers and staff at the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, and Dakota County Technical College have focused on developing 20 one-hour online modules to provide education and training on nanotechnology health and safety. Three modules are entirely finished and three additional modules are nearing completion. Those that are completed include: "Occupational Hygiene Principles", "Introduction to Aerosols", and "Importance of Particle Size". These modules have been posted on the Nano-Link web site, operated by Dakota County Technical College and to the METPHAST Program YouTube channel. As of June 9, 2015, there were 1,268 individual viewings of METPHAST Program videos on the YouTube channel from people in 69 different countries. The first module completed, "Occupational Hygiene Principles", has been viewed 520 times on YouTube. In April 2015, the team pilot tested three hands-on activities with six students in the Nanoscience Technology program at Dakota County Technical College.

The modules nearing completion include: "Risk Assessment Principles", "Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and Guidelines", and "Introduction to Nanotechnology". The team also has plans for additional modules – "Exposures to Raw Nanomaterials", "Exposures to Nanomaterials in Products", "Nanoparticle Health Effects", and "Engineering Controls for Nanomaterials". The project team has also listed two academic courses at the University of Minnesota for the 2015-16 academic year, "Introduction to Occupational Hygiene", and "Nanotechnology Health and Safety" that will use the METPHAST Program modules.

Four of the hands-on activities have also been completed: "Exposure and Dose", "Number, Surface Area, and Mass", "Gravitational Settling and Brownian Motion", and "Orders of Magnitude". Videos illustrating these activities have been posted to the YouTube channel. Four additional hands-on activities are mostly complete: "Dose-Response Curves", "Choosing an Occupational Exposure Limit", "Particle Size from Microscopy Images", and "Selection and Donning of Respirators". This year they also held their first meeting/conference call of the METPHAST Program Advisory Board. The Advisory Board offered excellent advice regarding additional resources for module content and target audiences for the modules. These meetings will be held annually.

Thomas Peters, Ph.D, a collaborator on this grant at the University of Iowa, also helped to create a professional development course (PDC), titled "Nanotechnology: Old Theories and New Concepts”. The PDC was presented at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) in Salt Lake City, UT on June 1, 2015. There were 100 professionals in attendance.

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