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New International Guidelines Outline Safe Use of Nanomaterials in the Workplace

U.S. leadership supports development of newly released report

New York, Jan 07, 2009

With the rapid advancement of nanotechnologies and their use in a wide variety of industries across the globe, international standards are needed to promote their safe development and use. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published a Technical Report (TR) that provides critical information on occupational safety for those involved in the manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the workplace.

ISO/TR 12885:2008, Health and safety practices in occupational settings relevant to nanotechnologies, is designed help companies, researchers, workers and others prevent adverse health and safety consequences during the production, handling, use and disposal of manufactured nanomaterials. This document is broadly applicable across a range of nanomaterials and applications.

“This Technical Report, which builds on NIOSH guidance, represents a major milestone toward responsible development of nanotechnology and is expected to be widely adopted as a foundation for national nanotechnology occupational safety and health programs around the world,” said Vladimir Murashov, special assistant on nanotechnology to the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the project leader for this initiative.

ISO/TR 12885:2008 was developed by ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies, Working Group (WG) 3, Health, Safety, and Environment. This group is U.S.-led, operating under the leadership of Steven Brown of the Intel Corporation. Across the board, the United States participates actively in the work of ISO/TC 229 and its WGs, and national input is developed by the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 229, a group that is accredited and administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

For more information on ISO/TR 12885:2008, see the ISO press release.


To help stakeholders from industry, government, academia, and the standardization community better understand the work that is currently underway within ISO/TC 229, ANSI recently authored a series of articles in the Nanotechnology Law Report. These articles are available on ANSI’s Published Articles page.

Five articles are currently available:

To learn more about the U.S. TAG for ISO/TC 229, visit www.ansi.org/isotc229tag or contact Heather Benko (hbenko@ansi.org).

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