Posted: January 18, 2008

SAFENANO team complete BSI British Standards guide to safe handling of nanomaterials

(Nanowerk News) A guide to the Safe Handling of Nanomaterials, drawn up by the SAFENANO team under BSI Committee NTI/1, Nanotechnologies, has this week been published by BSI British Standards.
‘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.
The guide, which makes up one of the nine documents for nanotechnology published by BSI in 2007, is intended to help manufacturers and users work with nanomaterials in a safe and responsible way.
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 practical support to the risk management process. It includes 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 are suggested, 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. ‘Its value lies in down-to-earth know-how. This is a shop-floor manual for making decisions where the rubber hits the road.’
The guide is available to download for free from the BSI site.
The SAFENANO initiative is one of the Technology Strategy Board’s Micro and Nanotechnology Network’s UK Nanotechnology Centres of Excellence. Phase 1 of this initiative was officially launched in August 2007.
The launch of SAFENANO Scientific Services represents the latest stage in IOM and SAFENANO’s nanotechnology programme which aims to understand, quantify and control risks posed by nanomaterials to the workforce, consumers, the general population and the environment through research, consultancy and service work for industry and government. Access SAFENANO at
About the Institute of Occupational Medicine
The Institute of Occupational Medicine is a major independent centre of scientific excellence in the fields of occupational and environmental health, hygiene and safety. Our mission is to benefit those at work and in the community by providing quality research, consultancy and training in health, hygiene and safety and by maintaining our independent, impartial position as an international centre of excellence. The IOM has more than one hundred scientific, technical and support staff based in Edinburgh, Chesterfield, London and Stafford.
About BSI British Standards
BSI British Standards is the UK’s National Standards Body, recognized globally for its independence, integrity and innovation in the production of standards and information products that promote and share best practice. BSI works with businesses, consumers and government to represent UK interests and to make sure that British, European and international standards are useful, relevant and authoritative. For further information please visit
About BSI Group
BSI British Standards is part of BSI Group, a global independent business services organization that inspires confidence and delivers assurance to customers with standardsbased solutions. Originating as the world’s first national standards body, the Group has over 2,250 staff operating in over 100 countries through more than 50 global offices. The Group’s key offerings are:
  • The development and sale of private, national and international standards and supporting information
  • Second and third-party management systems assessment and certification
  • Product testing and certification of services and products
  • Performance management software solutions
  • Training services in support of standards implementation and business best practice.
  • For further information please visit
    Source: SAFENANO
    Subscribe to a free copy of one of our daily
    Nanowerk Newsletter Email Digests
    with a compilation of all of the day's news.