There’s something interesting about designing the symbol for something you can’t see. An estimated 30,000 people who gathered at the World Social Forum in Nairobi this week also seemed to think so. Participants at this conference had a chance to vote for their favorite Nano-Hazard Symbol â€“ a design that warns of the presence of engineered nanomaterials (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter). Designers from 26 different countries submitted 482 unique enteries. Here are the three winners.
These designs will be submitted to international standard-setting bodies and could be used as a label on product-packaging or workroom walls.
Because of their extremely small size and large surface area, nano-scale particles may be more reactive and more toxic than larger particles of the same substance. Even though hundreds of products containing engineered nanoparticles are on the market, the toxicology of nanoparticles is largely unknown.