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Evaluation and control of occupational health risks from nanoparticles

image of Evaluation and control of occupational health risks from nanoparticles

Rapid growth in the nanoparticle industry is anticipated in the Nordic countries owing to highly focused national research and investment initiatives. Knowledge on consequences for occupational exposures to engineered nanoparticles and appropriate technical control levels is still limited. This report explores existing knowledge on exposure risks and technical control approaches. The report concludes that data are too limited to allow general conclusions to be drawn regarding risks of exposure to engineered nanoparticles. Engineering techniques for controlling nanoparticle exposure can build on the current knowledge and approaches to control exposure to e.g. welding fume and carbon black. There is a need for improving the quality of information provided in Material Safety Data Sheets.

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Physical characterization

For full notification of a new substance which may be marketed in a form which gives rise to the danger of exposure by the inhalatory route Dir 67/548/EEC, Annex VII A establishes that a test should be conducted to determine the particle size distribution of the substance as it will be marketed. Accordingly, the notification dossier should include a particle distribution measurement. Annex V of Dir 67/548/EEC does not yet sufficiently cover these testing requirements. Accordingly new or revised methods need to be continuously developed. At present, testing methods are currently under development or revision. This includes the Draft Guidance Document on the Determination of Particle Size Distribution, Fibre Length and Diameter Distribution of Chemical Substances. It includes e.g. use of SEM/TEM for determination of particle size distribution of the material as it is.

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