Nanomaterial Safety


Nanotechnology is generally defined as the manipulation of engineered structures, devices, and system on a near-atomic scale to produce new structures, materials and devices.

Nanomaterials are defined as those things that have a length scale between 1 and 100 nanometers. At this size, materials begin to exhibit unique properties that affect physical, chemical, and biological behavior. 

Basics of Nanomaterial Safety
  • Follow all posted laboratory requirements regarding required personal protective equipment
  • Obtain training prior to working with nanomaterials and follow instructions
  • Do not eat or drink in the laboratory
  • Follow good housekeeping procedures. 
  • Clean all potentially contaminated working surfaces when visibly  contaminated and/or at least once a day.
    • Use wet wiping or a HEPA vacuum on dry materials
  • Wash hands before eating, smoking, or leaving the worksite
  • Keep laboratory doors closed and limit access


NIOSH Publications

General Safe Practices for Working with Engineered Nanomaterials in Research Laboratories

  • This document contains recommendations on engineering controls and safe practices for handling engineered nanomaterials in laboratories and some pilot scale operations. This guidance was designed to be used in tandem with well-established practices and the laboratory’s chemical hygiene plan.