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October 18, 2007

Draft Guidance Addresses Nanomaterials in the Workplace

Lynn L. Bergeson

The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin/BAuA) (FIOSH) and the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie/VCI) (GCIA) have issued draft document entitled Guidance for Handling and Use of Nanomaterials at the Workplace. The Guidance is intended to provide an overview of occupational health and safety measures in the production and use of nanomaterials. The basis for the Guidance is a survey FIOSH and GCIA conducted in 2006 regarding occupational health and safety measures for handling and using nanomaterials. The Guidance provides recommendations for workers’ protection measures in the handling and use of nanomaterials, based on hazard assessments. The Guidance discusses the state of methods available for measuring nanoparticles and provides a flowchart that recommends specific hazard assessment activities based on the responses to flowchart questions. The Guidance will be developed further by mid-2008 to meet the advancing state of knowledge of nanoparticles.