As nanotechnology continues to make its way into virtually every aspect of global industry and society, many are wondering about the health and safety implications. A new report from ISO helps to address these concerns. International standardization contributes to realizing the potential of nanotechnology 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.

EngineersISO has just published the new 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 report is based on current information about nanotechnologies, including characterization, health effects, exposure assessments, and control practices.

Broadly applicable across a range of nanomaterials and applications, the 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, Nanotechnologies, says, “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 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 advancement. For more information, visit www.iso.org.