5.1.2 Textiles EHS Analysis
The textiles industry can be roughly divided into man-made (artificial/synthetic) and natural fibres (wool, cotton etc.). Changes in the European industrial landscape together with a shift from production of natural to synthetic textile products, means that Europe is no longer responsible for the majority share of textile production (the key beneficiary of this shift being China). However, the EU maintains a relevant place in the industrial landscape worldwide, turning €211 billion and employing 2.4 million people in 2007.
The key aims of applying nanotechnologies within the textiles sector are both to upgrade present functions and performance of textile materials, and to develop innovative products, in particular smart/functional textiles with totally new features and functions. In accordance with these aims, the textiles technology sector report provides an overview on processing technologies within the textile production pipeline from nanomaterials and composite materials, through fibre production to finishing treatments and nano-related textile product applications.
There exist some concerns as to the potential health and environmental impacts of nanoparticles and materials used within the textiles sector, in particular in relation to the potential for release of nanoparticles from textiles via washing or through every day wear and tear (Geranio L et. al., 2009; Kulthong K et. al., 2010). To begin addressing these, the Environment, Health & Safety analysis of the textiles technology sector (Mantovani & Zappelli, 2009) considers the nanomaterials outlined therein within the context of their application, and provides commentary on the exposure potential for the material within that application.
The present report covers four major sub-sectors, classified within the textiles technology sector report according to stage of textile production as follows:
• Nanomaterials and Composites
• Fibre Production
• Finishing Treatments
• Nano-related textile products
The key common knowledge gap across all nanoparticle applications is the lack of exposure measurements. As the ObservatoryNANO Project progresses, it is expected that this knowledge gap will be addressed (at least in part). This, coupled with additional information on nanomaterial toxicology should enable later EHS reports to reach more resolute conclusions on the risks posed by those nanomaterials in consideration.
The full text of the Textiles Technology Sector EHS Analysis may be downloaded as a pdf from the 'Related Documents' section at the bottom of this page
Visits: 5988, Published on: June, 23rd 2010, 08:49 AM, Last edit: 2010-06-23 08:53:46 Size: 3 KByte