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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Workplace practices for engineered nanomaterial manufacturers

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Abstract The growth in nanotechnology has prompted a focus on the development of occupational health and safety recommendations for those working with engineered nanomaterials (ENM) at both the laboratory and the manufacturing levels. Although the nascent field of nanotoxicology has shown that some nanoparticles may present a health hazard to humans, risk assessments for all types of ENM are not possible. Hence, a precautionary approach to handling of these materials is recommended along with the development of a comprehensive health and safety program for the workplace. The traditional hierarchy of exposure controls emphasizes reducing the hazard as close to the source as possible by using elimination or substitution. Alternative control methods include engineering controls, administrative or work practice controls, and finally personal protective equipment, in order of decreasing priority. There is now ample evidence that some degree of exposure control can be achieved with each of these control methods, so that a comprehensive program will incorporate each, depending on the circumstances of the engineered nanomaterial use. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2010 2 685–692 This article is categorized under: Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Regulatory and Policy Issues in Nanomedicine

Factors influencing control selection. Several factors influence the selection of exposure controls for nanomaterials including quantity of nanomaterial handled or produced, physical form, and task duration. As each one of these variables increase, exposure risk becomes greater as does the need for more efficient exposure control measures (from NIOSH Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology35).

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Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Regulatory and Policy Issues in Nanomedicine

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