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March 14, 2018

NIOSH Publishes Poster Regarding Controlling Health Hazards When Working with Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

As reported in our March 13, 2018, blog item, on March 9, 2018, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published three documents in its Workplace Design Solutions series that address nanomaterials.  On March 12, 2018, NIOSH announced the availability of the new Workplace Design Solutions documents, as well as a poster, “Controlling Health Hazards When Working with Nanomaterials:  Questions to Ask Before You Start.”  According to NIOSH, the poster poses questions that employers and workers should consider before starting work with a nanomaterial.  The poster includes questions regarding form, work activity, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).  For each question, the poster provides options to reduce exposures to nanomaterials based on the physical form (dry powder, suspended in liquid, or physically bound/encapsulated).  NIOSH suggests that readers use the poster to see which different control and PPE options are appropriate based on the physical form of the nanomaterial.  NIOSH notes that the poster can be displayed in a lab or work environment, “making it an easily accessible reminder of the important health and safety considerations for working with nanomaterials.”