NIOSH updates guidance on workplace safety, nanotechnology
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health updated and expanded its guidance on workplace safety and nanotechnology.
The document, Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology, reiterates the agency's recommendation that employers take measures to control occupational exposure in the manufacture and industrial use of engineered nanomaterials.
The revised document:
- Includes an expanded section on risk management, with a detailed discussion of factors that may affect occupational exposure to engineered nanomaterials, and expanded interim recommendations for controlling work-related exposures.
- Expands the discussion of exposure assessment and characterization for engineered nanomaterials, including a new summary table of instruments and measurement methods used in the evaluation of nanomaterial exposures.
Officials said the guide reflects ongoing research that has been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature since the last version was issued in 2006. These include findings from NIOSH's own strategic research program, as well as research by scientific partners from the United States and abroad.
Nanotechnology, which experts believe will be incorporated into more than $2.5 billion in global manufactured goods by 2014, involves the study and manipulation of engineered materials down to the size of a nanometer -- about one one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair. Because of their extremely small size, these nanomaterials can take on unusual physical and chemical properties that allow novel uses but at the same time can create health risks.
May 4, 2009
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