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The British Standards Institute today published the first publicly available extensive guide to safe handling of nanomaterials. PD 6699-2:2007 Nanotechnologies - Part 2: Guide to safe handling and disposal of manufactured nanomaterials provides step-by-step guidance through the general approach to management of risks, information needs, hazard assessment, measurement of exposure, methods of control and disposal. It is intended to help manufacturers and users work with nanomaterials in a safe and responsible way.
The guide was drafted by the SAFENANO team and approved by BSI Committee NTI/1, Nanotechnologies.
SAFENANO Director Rob Aitken, who led the team appointed to draft the guide said "Publication of this guide provides an important step forward in the information available to manufacturers and users of nanomaterials. It is intended to be a pragmatic document which provides users with a practical way to deal with nanomaterial risk issues".
The guide provides an innovative approach to hazard classification and suggests benchmark exposure levels for four classes of nanomaterials and an encouragement to collect exposure information. The benchmark levels are intended to provide reasonably cautions levels, but should not be considered as rigorously developed Workplace Exposure Limits. Control approaches for various scenarios such as deliberate aerosolization and transferring/mixing of dry materials, again with the encouragement that these are supported by measurement.
"Given the current state of knowledge about nanoparticle toxicology and risk it will be some time before formal workplace exposure limits can be developed. Our view is that this guide, and the benchmark levels suggested provides the best basis for progress at this stage." said Aitken.
‘If you are developing, producing, handling, or otherwise working with engineered nanomaterials, READ THIS GUIDE!' said Andrew Maynard, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies in in his review of the guide . ‘Its value lies in down-to-earth know-how. This is a shop-floor manual for making decisions where the rubber hits the road.' For the rest of Andrew's comments, please follow this link to read his review and blog - Safe nanotechnology in the workplace: A practical guide
The guide is available to download for free from the BSI site - Click here for access.
If you would like to comment on the guide please contribute your thoughts to the BSI Guide thread in the SAFENANO Community.
The Safenano Initiative is a venture by the Institute of Occupational Medicine ( IOM ). The initiative was designed to help industrial and academic communities to quantify and control the risks to their workforce, as well as to consumers, the general population collage and the environment, through both information provision and consultancy services.
The Institute of Occupational Medicine is one of the UK's foremost promoters of responsible nanotechnology development, and possesses extensive experience concerning the potential risks from particles and fibres. A combination of this expertise and state-of-art techniques allows the IOM to extend current knowledge and facilitate comparisons between existing substances and new nanoparticles.
For more information, please click here
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