This document, published by BSI, provides guidance on: i) assessing risks and recognising uncertainties in the development, manufacture and use of nanomaterials, and; ii) developing and implementing an effective strategy to address and control the risks.
The guidance included is applicable to a wide range of nanomaterials, including nano-objects such as nanoparticles, nanotubes and nanofibres, as well as aggregates and agglomerates of these objects and any material or preparation in which such nanomaterials comprise a significant proportion. However, the guide is not intended to be applicable to incidentally produced nanoparticles, such as diesel exhaust and welding fumes.
The document outlines its guidance according to the UK Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 8 stage generic approach described in the general principles section. It includes general information on nanomaterial types and characteristics, and exposure and risk issues. It then goes on to outline the required competence of the person/s conducting the nanomaterial risk assessment and how information may be collected and evaluated. Following this it offers guidance on control of exposure, health surveillance, methods for evaluating controls and considerations for safe disposal. Finally, it provides considerations for implementation of policies to cover outcomes such as spillages, accidental releases and the prevention of fire and explosions.
The document recognises the considerable uncertainty about many aspects of effective risk assessment of nanomaterials, including the hazardous potential of many types of nanoparticles and the levels below which individuals might be exposed with minimal likelihood of adverse health effects. It therefore recommends a cautious strategy for handling and disposing of nanomaterials.