The 19th meeting of the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials was held in February 2019. This report summarizes the information provided by the 18 member countries on actions around manufactured nanomaterials, as well as international activities. The US reports that NIOSH released a revised bulletin on occupational exposure to silver nanomaterials (SciPol brief available), as well as workplace design solutions to describe engineering controls to protect workers from exposure to nanomaterials. NIOSH is supporting implementation of the World Health Organization’s guidelines for nanomaterial safety in the workplace (SciPol brief available).
Since Jan. 2005, the EPA has reviewed more than 220 new chemical notices for nanomaterials. Because of the limited data on risks from these materials, they are required to be used with precautions to limit exposure to workers and the environment. The National Nanotechnology Initiative is funding further research into the health and safety risks of nanomaterial exposure outlined in the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Plan (SciPol brief available).
Other countries report working along similar lines to understand the risks posed by nanomaterials and generate appropriate regulations. Most have taken actions to implement OECD council’s recommendations on the safety testing and assessment of manufactured nanomaterials.