These are exciting times for both new and existing nanotechnology users. Already well-established in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics the benefits of nanomaterials are now being recognised in many other areas.
New carbon nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene are showing the potential for improved performance and value in emerging markets such as mobile electronics, energy storage, energy saving, aerospace and bio-sensors. These technologies are forecast to bring valuable growth to the UK manufacturing industry.
Having led the way in large scale manufacture of these incredibly strong, flexible and versatile materials, Thomas Swan are now ensuring that both carbon nanotubes and graphene are safely introduced to new markets. As a company with a long standing commitment to improving safety standards we are taking a market-leading and pro-active approach to their introduction. As with all new chemical substances, a comprehensive health, safety and environmental evaluation is of course required before a product launch. Thomas Swan actively monitors and supports development of harmonised safety standards and regulations through our participation in a variety of initiatives, including the Chemical Industry Association's Nano Issue Team.
We fully support its involvement in wider European issues through CEFIC, the EU Chemical Industry Association, and are also funding additional inhalation toxicology testing for carbon nanotubes in association with the Nanotechnology Industries Association.
Thomas Swan continues to build on its commitment to the health & safety of nanomaterial manufacture through our on-going working relationship with the Health & Safety Executive and Health and Safety Laboratories. We also participate in a voluntary audit scheme to ensure that our management systems are maintained to the exemplary levels that our customers demand.
Our exemplary approach to nanomaterial safety was recently highlighted in Hazardex magazine http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?EID=d6611b76-19d5-4e16-8f3c-46f061f8484e
Thomas Swan was the first UK chemical company to be externally verified in principles of Responsible Care(r), and were early implementers of quality, safety and environmental standards. We have an on-going commitment to Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental management systems (BS EN ISO 9001, BS EN ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001). In the USA, Thomas Swan were the first company to apply for a Pre-Manufacturing Notice (PMN) for a carbon nanotube product under the USA TSCA rules.
As a result of Thomas Swan's dedicated approach, more knowledge and information is becoming available about carbon nanomaterial products - and how their outstanding properties can bring benefits to consumer markets.