Nanomaterials are materials having one or more external dimensions, or an internal structure of 100 nm or less, which could exhibit novel characteristics compared to the same material without nanoscale features.*
Unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties are associated with materials at the nanoscale. Many of these properties are useful, but they can also change toxicity and increase the potential for negative health effects in the body.
See the “Working Safely with Nanomaterials in the Laboratory” information sheet for general information. Each lab should develop specific standard operating procedures for work involving nanomaterials – see OESO’s SOP Template for Nanomaterials for more information.
Employees working with nanomaterials may call OESO-Occupational Safety and Hygiene at 684-5996 for more information. Additionally, these websites may be useful:
*From T. Schneider, et al., “Evaluation and control of occupational health risks from nanoparticles”, TemaNord 2007-581, p 14 (2007).