Every person handling a biosensor risks exposure to hazardous compounds. We therefore advise handling our biosensor with caution and care. Our product: "DeTaXion" goes through multiple stages during its life-cycle, with each having its own safety issues. We will here briefly discuss these stages and the precautions we took to minimize risk and maximize safety.
We identified the following stages, which are potentially safety hazards:
- Firstly, DeTaXion will be developed and stored in the laboratory.
- After DeTaXion is ordered it needs to be transported to the customer.
- When the customer uses DeTaXion, a sample of the water is retrieved and inserted in the device.
- When finished, the customer needs to dispose off the device and sampled water properly.
- Other safety risks might arise when the device is not used rightly, either accidentally or on purpose.
Production and Transport
The device is produced as seen in the section Laboratory. We followed the regulations designed by the European Union on the production of devices containing GMOs strictly. As a consequence of our strict adherence to the regulations for GMO-containing devices, we decided to limit the use of our sensor to closed environments, thereby preventing unwanted breakouts and introduction into the environment. We also conscientiously filled out the correct safety forms and kept the standard laboratory safety rules in mind. Click here for more information about our lab safety.
Since DeTaXion is a GMO, we need to take multiple safety concerns into account. It is important to consider the effects our biosensor might have on the environment and ecosystems. E. coli survives and replicates easily under certain circumstances, which will lead to hazardous risks if the strain would become pathogenic. To minimize this risk, we built a device that contains the bacteria in a stationary state and a build-in block which will release an antibacterial solution in case of emergency. Also, the water sample taken will not be returned back to the surface water and contained in a safety container and disposed of as GMO waste. Furthermore, the compartment containing the E. coli is sealed with a filter preventing E. coli from escaping. Collectively, in this way, the chance of introducing the GMO into the environment will be minimized and the people handling the device, including the customer, the transporters and the cleaners will have limited chance of being contaminated.
After consulting Roberd Boer from Tauw Group, we were convinced that sampling water is surprisingly challenging. He recommended the NEN 6600-1 method as a reliable method for obtaining representative samples. The sample must be inserted in the device carefully, because it may contain several hazardous compounds. Therefore, the customer needs to wear protective clothes and gloves when working with the samples.
Our idea for waste disposal is to let the customers return the device to the company, who will dispose the device properly. To ensure a high return rate of devices for proper disposal, measures will be taken. For example,the customer will get a refund on the next order upon return of devices. This results in a safer environment as a result of the better disposal of the waste and promotes sustainability as it allows for the recycling of the device.