QD Vision has taken significant measures to assure the workplace safety of its employees. Since 2006, the company has worked closely with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to assure its workplace meets all safety requirements. The NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Research Team has collaborated with QD Vision by observing and characterizing the work practices and processes at the company, both for R&D and for manufacturing.
In developing products for incorporation into flat panel displays and lighting systems for general lighting applications, the company synthesizes Cadmium Selenide (CdSe) and Cadmium-free core-shell quantum dots (QDs). QD Vision has taken extraordinary measures for containment and control in every step of its quantum dot production process. All steps of production take place within engineering controls such as chemical fume hoods and nitrogen glove boxes, designed to eliminate potential workplace exposures.
In its final report to QD Vision, NIOSH noted that level of Cadmium detected in the workplace was 100 times below the limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since the report was received, the company has instituted procedures to reduce the levels of Cadmium even further. In addition, over hundreds of samples, the NIOSH team found absolutely no evidence of nanomaterials in laboratory air or surfaces - QD Vision has achieved 100% containment of nanomaterials.
QD Vision will continue to work closely with NIOSH and related government agencies to assure that its workplace meets the highest levels for worker safety.
At the request of QD Vision, NIOSH conducted a research study designed to identify and characterize potential worker exposure to nanoparticles through surface sampling, filter-based air sampling and real-time measurements, using direct-reading instruments. In addition, NIOSH evaluated the effectiveness of the engineering controls and worker practices used during the handling of cadmium-containing quantum dots. To determine safety levels at QD Vision, NIOSH evaluated numerous processes, including quantum dot production chemistry, purification, ink printing and optic assembly, ink formulation and mixing, and display optic filling and sealing.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. The NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center coordinates the Institute’s laboratory, field, and information dissemination activities on the development of tools, practices, and recommendations for the guidance document, “Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology.” (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/safenano/). A key input to the development of that document is field research studies such as the ones conducted at QD Vision. The NIOSH nanotechnology field research team has the objective of characterizing processes where nanomaterials are produced or used. The NIOSH field team:
- Evaluates the entire material flow of a process and identifies points of potential material emission that can result in worker exposure.
- Uses an array of instruments and conventional air sampling methods to characterize exposures.
- Evaluates engineering controls and their effectiveness in reducing emissions and exposures.
- Evaluates work practices used during the production or use of nanomaterials.
- Evaluates the use of personal protective equipment in use, if any, including respiratory protection.
For more information please refer to: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/