The key to avoiding health and safety issues with emerging technologies is to anticipate exposure risks and take action to mitigate them before they occur. To ensure that the investigators anticipate these risks so that emerging industries grow without causing illness or injury to workers or the public, the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, and Dakota County Technical College have formed the Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training (METPHAST) Program. The objective of the METPHAST Program for the proposed funding period is to develop a comprehensive array of focused, web-based modules that can be used by instructors to tailor education and training initiatives on the health and safety of two emerging technologies, nanotechnology and frac sand mining, to serve the unique needs of different learners. To achieve the objective, the investigators will develop web-based materials to train professionals to work safely with engineered nanomaterials, establish on-line academic courses for undergraduate and graduate training on the principles of working safely with nanomaterials, develop web-based materials to educate professionals about mining frac sand safely, and raise awareness of our modules, activities, and academic curricula through publications and conference presentations. Learners who will use training materials developed by the METPHAST Program will include industrial hygiene students;students in other health, science, engineering, and technology disciplines;specialists who require focused continuing education on the health and safety of specific emerging technologies;and secondary and post-secondary students who may be exposed to individual lessons chosen by their instructors. The proposed program is innovative because it will streamline and integrate academic and professional training to meet the needs of specific learners. The modules will be freely available to any instructor who wishes to use them, thus having a regional, national, and global reach.
The METPHAST Program is a multi-institutional education program that develops and disseminates web- based modules to train a variety of learners on health and safety issues associated with emerging technologies. In the current grant period, the program is focusing on educational materials related to nanotechnology and frac sand mining health and safety.