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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences



The documents on this page explore worker health and safety and environmental health and safety issues related to the expanding field of nanotechnology.

  • CPWR   The electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health contains an inventory of construction products that industrial hygienists from CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, believe may contain nanoparticles or are nanostructured, i.e. have pores less than 100 nanometers in diameter. The inventory has links to the product manufacturers and safety data sheets, if available, as well as the reason for inclusion in the inventory.
  • ASTM E2535 - 07 Standard Guide for Handling Unbound Engineered Nanoscale Particles in Occupational Settings   This Guide is intended for use by entities involved in the handling of UNP in occupational settings. The Guide covers handling principles and techniques that may be applied, as appropriate, to the variety of UNP materials and handling settings.The Guide may also be used by entities that receive materials or articles containing or comprising nanoscale particles fixed upon or within a matrix (i.e., bound nanoscale particles), but whose own processes or use may reasonably be expected to cause such particles to become unbound.
  • CB Nanotool   The CB Nanotool is a control banding approach being used at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to assess risks associated with nanotechnology operations and prescribe appropriate engineering controls.
  • GoodNanoGuide   The GoodNanoGuide is a collaboration platform designed to enhance the ability of experts to exchange ideas on how best to handle nanomaterials in an occupational setting. It is meant to be an interactive forum that fills the need for up-to-date information about current good workplace practices, highlighting new practices as they develop.
  • EPA   This This Web page provides current information on the regulation of pesticide products either manufactured using nanotechnology or that contain ingredients that are themselves the result of nanotechnology.
  • EPA   This Web page provides information on how nanomaterials are regulated under EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act.
  • International Council on Nanotechnology   Managed by Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, ICON activities promote effective nanotechnology stewardship through risk assessment, research and communication.
  • Introduction to Nanomaterials and Occupational Health Course   This eight-hour course will prepare the safety
    professional or trainer to address issues that may arise in the nanomaterial workplace with a comprehensive review
    of current knowledge, frameworks for risk management and tools for keeping up with the rapidly expanding knowledge base on nanomaterials' health and safety impacts.
  • ISO/TR 12885:2008 Standard   This ISO standard describes health and safety practices in occupational settings relevant to nanotechnologies. It focuses on the occupational manufacture and use of engineered nanomaterials. It does not address health and safety issues or practices associated with nanomaterials generated by natural processes, hot processes and other standard operations which unintentionally generate nanomaterials, or potential consumer exposures or uses.
  • Nanotechnology at NIOSH   This link connects to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Critical Topic Area on nanotechnology. Provided are links to critical topic areas, safe approaches to nanotechnology, and an online library of relevent information.

  • In January 2009, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) sent a formal request for information to manufacturers who produce or import carbon nanotubes in California. The deadline for manufactures to respond to the letter was January 2010. DTSC has now posted PDF copies of each response online at:   .

  • Nano Risk Framework   The Environmental Defense Fund and DuPont formed a partnership to develop the Nano Risk Framework with the aim to identify and address potential environmental, health, and safety risks of nanotechnology.
  • NNI 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy   Nanotechnology safety benefits everyone, from lab researchers and factory workers to the consumers of products enabled by this emerging technology. Accordingly, the Federal Government has developed the 2011 NNI Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy, a comprehensive approach to ensuring the safe, effective, and responsible development and use of nanotechnology.

  • OSHA   OSHA has developed a topics page on nanotechnology, where you will find relevant OSHA standards as well as links to resources on Health Effects and Workplace Assessments and Controls.
  • Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies   Established in April 2005 as a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Project provides policy papers and a consumer product inventory.
  • EPA Nanotechnology White Paper  
    February 2007. 136 pages. This document describes the issues that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should consider to ensure that society benefits from advances in environmental protection that nanotechnology may offer, and to understand and address any potential risks from environmental exposure to nanomaterials.
  • Nanomaterials in the Workplace: Policy and Planning Workshop on Occupational Safety and Health  
    April 2006. 50 pages. This Research and Development (RAND) report discusses the strategic requirements needed to address nanotechnology and occupational safety and health, describes the current resources that are being applied to address related concerns that have been raised, and discusses options and suggestions for NIOSH and other federal agencies offered by the workshop participants to address concerns regarding nanotechnology and occupational safety and health.
  • 2009 NCMS Survey of Nanotechnology in the U.S. Manufacturing Industry  
    August 2010. 80 pages. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) study, conducted under sponsorship from the National Science Foundation (NSF), documents the nation's largest cross-industry survey of nanotechnology applications being commercialized by the U.S. manufacturing industry.
  • Nanoparticles-Known and Unknown Health Risks  
    December 2004. 15 pages. Man-made nanoparticles range from the well-established multi-ton production of carbon black and fumed silica for applications in plastic fillers and car tires to microgram quantities of fluorescent quantum dots used as markers in biological imaging. As nano-sciences are experiencing massive investment worldwide, there will be a further rise in consumer products relying on nanotechnology. While benefits of nanotechnology are widely publicised, the discussion of the potential effects of their widespread use in the consumer and industrial products are just beginning to emerge. This review provides comprehensive analysis of data available on health effects of nanomaterials.
  • National Nanotechnology Initiative  
    February 2011. 60 pages. The National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan charts the vision, goals, and plans by which NIOSH and partner agencies will work to expedite the responsible advancement of nanotechnology over the next 5 to 10 years, and to ensure that the U.S. will remain a world leader in nanotechnology research and development.
  • Training Workers for Risks of Nanotechnology (7.3MB)
    February 2011. This report addresses the critical issue of how workers who are creating and handling nanomaterials should be trained about the hazards they face -- in laboratories, manufacturing facilities, at hazardous waste cleanup sites and during emergency responses.