Technical Report advises on nanotechnology safety

Paul Boughton
Nanotechnology is a rapidly advancing field, and is expected to impact virtually every facet of global industry and society. International standardisation contributes to realising the potential of this technology for the betterment and sustainability of the world through economic development, improving the quality of life, and for improving and protecting public health and the environment.

ISO has just published a new Technical Report (not a standard) ISO/TR 12885:2008, 'Health and safety practices in occupational settings relevant to nanotechnologies,' which focuses on the manufacture and use of engineered nanomaterials. The Technical Report is based on current information about nanotechnologies, including characterisation, health effects, exposure assessments and control practices.

Broadly applicable across a range of nanomaterials and applications, the Technical Report provides advice for companies, researchers, workers and other people to prevent adverse health and safety consequences during the production, handling, use and disposal of manufactured nanomaterials.

Dr Peter Hatto, chair of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 229 that developed ISO/TR 12885:2008, comments: "The introduction of new engineered nanomaterials into the workplace raises questions concerning occupational safety and health that should be addressed, as appropriate, by international standards. While such standards are being developed, it is important, through ISO/TR 12885:2008, to assemble and make available to users, useful knowledge on occupational safety and health practices in the context of nanotechnologies."

The Technical Report will be revised and updated and new safety standards will be developed as knowledge increases and experience is gained in the course of technological advance.

ISO/TR 12885:2008 is available from ISO national member institutes and directly from the ISO Store for 176 Swiss francs.

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