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April 6, 2020

NIOSH Posts Posters on 3D Printing with Filaments, Metal Powders

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has posted two posters from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) on 3D printing:  3D Printing with Filaments:  Health and Safety Questions to Ask and 3D Printing with Metal Powders:  Health and Safety Questions to Ask.  The posters provide health and safety questions with different control options and information intended to reduce exposure to potential hazards.  The questions include:

  • Characterization of Potential Hazards: What potential hazards are associated with 3D printing? Are there known health effects from the filaments or the metals (for example, see safety data sheets)?  What is the work environment like (for example, open or isolated area)?
  • Work Activities: Could the work activities cause exposures?  What is the likelihood of exposure?  Can you change the way you do the activity to reduce the likelihood of exposure (high potential to low)?
  • Engineering Controls: Based on the work activity, what engineering controls will reduce the likelihood of exposure?  What are the key design and operational requirements for the control?
  • Administrative Controls: Have you considered your workplace practices and policies?  Have you set up a plan for waste management?  Have you considered what to do in case of a chemical spill?
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): If the measures above do not effectively control the hazard, what PPE can be used?  Have you considered PPE for other safety hazards?