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NIOSH releases new recommendations for nanomaterial controls

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released new recommendations concerning controlling workers' exposures when engineered nanomaterials are used industrially. Some workers in Pennsylvania might be interested in the new document, which outlines how to control workers' exposures to the substances. Many products on the market already contain nanomaterials, including food storage products, sporting goods and makeup.

The document, which was posted on a government website on Nov. 8 of this year, is abundantly illustrated with diagrams and photos of fume hoods, ventilation equipment and other protective paraphernalia. In addition, it offers recommendations following the accepted hierarchy of controls. NIOSH looks forward to working with various partners in order to consider the effects exposure to nanomaterials could have on the health of workers, especially with the continuous introduction of new products and materials.

The director of NIOSH stressed the importance of protecting workers from potentially adverse health issues, which may result from their exposure to nanomaterials, especially as new products and new materials continue to be added to known substances. Understanding nanomaterials and the effects they could have on those who work with them is germane as far as supporting safety as far as U.S. leadership in the global market and the safe growth of nanotechnology is concerned.

Those who manufacture products containing nanomaterials may be subject to serious injuries, especially if proper safety precautions are not followed. A workplace illness or injury may be serious and could require extensive medical care. If employees are injured or if they fall sick because their company failed to follow proper safety protocols, the workers may be able to file claims to help offset missed wages as well as medical bills.

Source: OHS Online, "NIOSH Releases New Nanomaterial Control Recommendations", November 11, 2013

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