October 13, 2019

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NIOSH Publishes Nanotechnology Safety Program Guide for SMEs

On April 4, 2016, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a report entitled Building a Safety Program to Protect the Nanotechnology Workforce: A Guide for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises. The report states that employees may be at risk of exposure by inhalation, skin absorption, or ingestion. According to the report, several factors can affect their potential for exposure, including:

  • The route, concentration, duration, and frequency of any exposure;

  • The ability of the nanomaterial to be easily dispersed (such as a dust or aerosol); and

  • The control measures in place to reduce or limit exposures.

The report states that the best way to control potential exposures and to protect workers includes creating and following a risk management plan that incorporates the hierarchy of controls: elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. The report lists the following elements that are “the keys to a successful health and safety program”:

  • Leadership by top management;

  • Inclusion of employees;

  • Establishment of a Safety Committee;

  • Creation of a written risk-management plan that includes;

    • Identification of potential hazards;

    • Identification of exposure potential;

    • Establishment of controls following the hierarchy of controls;

    • Verification of controls;

    • Preparation for emergencies; and

    • Regulatory compliance;

  • Continued evaluation of the safety program:

    • Plan, Do, Check, Act.

©2019 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.


About this Author

Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Owner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy...

Carla Hutton, Bergeson Campbell PC, global regulatory attorney, public health activists lawyer, metals industry legal counsel, Toxic Substances Control Act law
Regulatory Analyst

Since 1996, Carla Hutton has monitored, researched, and written about regulatory and legislative issues that may potentially affect Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) clients. She is responsible for creating a number of monthly and quarterly regulatory updates for B&C's clients, as well as other documents, such as chemical-specific global assessments of regulatory developments and trends. She authors memoranda for B&C clients on regulatory and legislative developments, providing information that is focused, timely and applicable to client initiatives. These tasks have proven invaluable to many clients, keeping them aware and abreast of developing issues so that they can respond in kind and prepare for the future of their business.

Ms. Hutton brings a wealth of experience and judgment to her work in federal, state, and international chemical regulatory and legislative issues, including green chemistry, nanotechnology, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Proposition 65, and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program.