Nanotechnology Committee Approves Particle Handling Guide
The development of
nanotechnology and the use of nanoscale materials for new applications is occurring worldwide in research and development settings, as well as in new manufacturing processes. While this development is expected to increase, working with nanoscale materials may pose occupational health risks to personnel involved in their handling and use. The need for guidance in controlling employee exposures to nanoscale materials during both research and development and manufacturing has resulted in a new ASTM International standard, E 2535, Guide for Handling Unbound Engineered Nanoparticles in Occupational Settings. The standard, developed by Subcommittee E56.03 on Environment, Health and Safety, is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E56 on Nanotechnology.
According to Steven Brown, senior industrial hygienist, Intel Corp. and E56 member, E 2535 is intended to provide guidance for controlling occupational exposures to nanoscale particles as a precautionary measure where relevant exposure standards and/or definitive risk and exposure information does not currently exist.
Brown says that potential users of E 2535 include people in any occupational workplace environment where unbound nanoscale materials are processed or handled, including industrial research and development laboratories, manufacturing facilities and academic research facilities.
“Our current knowledge of the toxicity of nanoscale materials, associated health risk and control technologies is limited and evolving as new information is obtained,” says Brown. “It is anticipated that E 2535 will need to be updated on a continual basis as additional research and knowledge is obtained.” Participation is welcome in future revisions to E 2535, as well as in the development of other nanotechnology standards. “Expertise in nanoscale particle toxicology, nanoscale particle metrology and industrial hygiene expertise in control of nanoscale particle exposures would be welcome additions to Subcommittee E56.03,”says Brown. //
Technical Information: Steven Brown, Intel Corp., Hillsboro, Ore.
ASTM Staff: Pat Picariello