Safe Handling of Nanoscale Particulate Matter in R&D Environments
(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA)
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The potential toxicity of engineered nanoscale particulate matter is is still largely unknown, although limited data suggest that some nanoscale materials may be more toxic that microscale materials of the same composition. First generation nanoparticles are already appearing in commercial products aimed at consumers such as sunscreens, sporting equipment and clothing. Second and third generation nanomaterials, many with intended biological activity, are being developed in R&D labs around the world. EH&S personnel are often called upon to establish safe handling procedures for nanoscale work in R&D environments, despite the paucity of guidance or data on toxicity, air sampling procedures, exposure limits and efficacy of exposure control strategies. The five Department of Energy-sponsored Nanoscale Science Research Centers have developed a best practices guide for managing the safety of nanomaterials that has been adopted by many organizations outside of the DOE. Policy is proposed for minimizing exposure, evaluating exposure potential, filtering exhaust air, managing wastes, storing materials and medical surveillance.More information to follow.