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Exotic Nanomaterials Claim Their First Major Workplace Injury

by | May 27, 2014 | Workers' Compensation

Tens of thousands of people may have been exposed to an array of nanomaterials in their workplaces over the past decade. A US worker is the first fully documented casualty of the nanotech industry. According to reports, this worker had no idea that she was using nickel nanoparticle powder at her workplace because there is no requirement to label the nanoparticles and properties in a variety of workplace materials.

Within a week of simply measuring the nickel powder, the worker’s throat became congested and her nose dripped. Also, her face became flushed. The worker claims that after this her skin began to have adverse reactions to her earrings and her belt buckle. Her symptoms continued even after she stopped working with the material and moved to another floor.

When the worker left her workplace, her symptoms improved significantly. Nanomaterials are very common in our world today. According to Motherboard, they are used in bowling balls, socks, food wrappers, sunscreens, vitamins, mouthwash, paints and eye shadows, just to name a few. The Project on Emerging Nanotechnology says that there are at least 1,880 products in the U.S. which use nanomaterials.

There’s no way to know how many people work with these nanomaterials though the National Science Foundation believes that by 2020 there will be at least six million people that are working nanotech jobs. An estimated two million of these people will be working in the United States. It is almost impossible to test every nanoproduct for it’s safety, but the harmful materials that may in some nanomaterials are significant.

If you believe that you have developed an illness due to working with nanomaterials consistently, you will want to talk with a professional New York worker’s compensation attorney at Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm today if you want more information!