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The Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training (METPHAST) Program develops and disseminates web-based modules to educate and train a variety of learners about health and safety issues associated with emerging technologies.

Why Safety, Why METPHAST?

This is a multi-institutional collaboration among the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and Dakota County Technical College. With funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program, online courses have been developed to disseminate the identified critical areas for instruction.

The METPHAST Components


Narrated Video (about 1 hour) with Knowledge Checks
Video Demonstration  showing how to conduct the Hands-on Activity
Slides and Guides for the Instructor
Instructions for the Learner


Each topic below links to a description of the module including learning objectives, supplies list, and links/downloads for each component listed.


Module 1:
Occupational Hygiene

Module 2:
Risk Assessment

Module 3:
and Guidelines

Module 4:
to Aerosols

Module 5:
Importance of
Particle Size

Module 6:
to Nanotechnology

Module 7:
Exposures to
Raw Nanomaterials

Module 8:
Exposures to
Nanomaterials in Products

Module 9:
in the Environment

Module 10:
Health Effects

The same novel properties that make nanoparticles attractive in new materials synthesis may also lead to adverse health effects. Participants will learn about the health effects associated with inhalation and dermal exposures to a variety of engineered nanomaterials.

Module 11:
Sampling Instrumentation
for Airborne Nanomaterials

Sampling of airborne nanomaterials may be necessary to show compliance with an exposure limit, identify and characterize hazard sources, assess the effectiveness of controls, evaluate a research hypothesis, or help to determine risk. In this lesson, participants will learn about the wide variety of instruments that are available to sample airborne nanomaterials.

Module 12:
Sampling Strategies
for Airborne Nanomaterials

The American Industrial Hygiene Association exposure assessment strategy starts with anticipation and recognition of potential workplace hazards. Then, various sampling methods are used to evaluate exposures, and controls are put in place when exposures are unacceptable. In this lesson, participants will learn how the exposure assessment strategy can be applied in nanotechnology workplaces.

Module 13:
Assessing Dermal
Exposures to

Workplace exposures to nanomaterials occur primarily through the inhalation and dermal routes. Dermal exposures may occur from direct contact with nanomaterials, from deposition from the air, or from transfer from surfaces or clothing. Qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative approaches for assessing dermal exposures to nanomaterials will be explained in this lesson.

Module 14:
Standards and Regulations
Pertinent to

Occupational exposure limits (OELs) for engineered nanomaterials would be useful for minimizing health risks among workers. However, only a few OELs have been established by government agencies specifically for engineered nanomaterials. In this lesson, participants will learn how to set exposure guidelines for engineered nanomaterials in the absence of a more authoritative OEL.

Module 15:
Work Practice & Admin
Controls and PPE
for Nanomaterials

Work practices controls are changes in how tasks are performed and administrative controls are changes in when, where, or by whom tasks are performed, in order to reduce exposures. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is devices and clothing used by individuals to reduce their own exposures. Participants will learn how exposures to nanomaterials can be reduced by implementing work practice and administrative controls and by using personal protective equipment.

Module 16:
Engineering Controls
for Nanomaterials

Engineering controls are physical, chemical, or biological changes made to a process or a product to reduce exposures. Because they are broadly effective at reducing exposures for everyone in a work area at the same time, engineering controls are often a better approach than altering work practices or using PPE. In this lesson, participants will learn about using enclosures and ventilation to reduce worker exposures to nanomaterials.