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Managing the risk of occupational exposure to nanoparticles in the laboratory: a review of good work practices and the effectiveness of the biosafety cabinet as an engineering control

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • J.L. Peterson
  • D.M. Masselle
  • K.L. Holmes


Nanotechnology is an emergent technology with the potential to create new materials and products with beneficial use in various scientific and biomedical applications. Because this field is relatively new, there are concerns about the health effects of occupational exposures (inhalation, dermal and ingestion) and risks to the laboratory workers who are performing research involving nanotechnology and nanoparticles. The NIH Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS), Office of Research Services (ORS) has developed a written DOHS Nanotechnology Safety and Health Program, which contains occupational health and safety guidelines and recommendations for laboratory workers. Aerosolizing nanoparticles has generated concern about potential occupational exposure and the health risks for laboratory workers using nanotechnology applications. Methods and instruments are available for monitoring airborne concentrations of nanoparticles. When generating nanoparticle aerosols the use of certain engineering controls, such as a biosafety cabinet, may be effective at capturing nanoparticles and reducing the potential for exposure.

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