About 150 delegates attended the 7th international symposium on Nanotechnology, Occupational and Environmental Health which was held in Limpopo Province recently.
The symposium provided a scientific forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest research on occupational and environmental health issues and risks associated with nanotechnology.
The symposium hosted six impressive plenaries and a number of breakaway sessions focusing on topics relating to nanotechnology, occupational health, safety and the environment. These included environmental behaviour and effects of nanoparticles, risk assessment, risk management and regulatory aspects of nanomaterials.
The SAASTA team interviewed some of the delegates about the conference:
Ms Sally Spankie from Edinburgh in Scotland studied PhD in Chemistry.
About the conference she said:
“The NanOEH 2015 conference covered a broad spectrum of issues in the nanotechnology sector. I enjoyed the exposure and risk sessions.”
Ms Spankie enjoyed meeting researchers from South Africa who are using some analysis techniques for their results that she would like to use for her research in the near future.
She said nanomaterials can help in healthcare and also in other consumer-based products. She believes that this kind of symposium benefit young and new researchers in nanotechnology and provide an opportunity to develop measurement strategies and to understand how to interpret results.
Mr Rapelang Patala from Johannesburg, Gauteng (originally from Lesotho) is currently studying MSc on 4-Nitrophenol Reduction at the University of Johannesburg.
Mr Patala is also working with Deudrimer Encapsulated Nanoparticles (DENs) as a catalyst, evaluating catalysts based on different model reactions.
He said the conference was very informative. He learned how to handle materials he is working with and how he can apply new synthetic approaches to avoid hazards.
Mr Patala thinks nanotechnology is a very broad field and young people should attend conferences such as the NanOEH to learn new developments and take their studies to new horizons.
He was awarded 2nd place in the poster presentation for postgraduate students. He said he is happy and grateful.
Dr Ji-Hyang Noh from South Korea is currently in South Africa studying metal nanoparticles on mesoporous oxides at the University of Johannesburg. Dr Noh said the conference was very beneficial and she enjoyed it. She said nanotechnology is a very promising field for young people to pursue.