in order to help people work safely with carbon nanotubes, Safe Work Australia commissioned the CSIRO to develop guidance on the safe handling and use of carbon nanotubes.
This document provides two approaches to manage the risks:
- Risk management with detailed hazard analysis and exposure assessment (Part A)
- Risk management by Control Banding (Part B)
Either or both methods may be used, depending on the circumstances.
The ‘Carbon Nanotube Health Safety and Environment Risk Management Tool’ at Appendix B can be used to assist risk management and can be modified to suit the workplace.
The guidance in this document is applicable to other forms of carbon nanofibres, such as carbon nanorods and carbon nanowires. It is also applicable to products containing carbon nanotubes and other forms of carbon nanofibres where these nanomaterials may be released during handling.
The document considers situations where carbon nanotubes are embedded in solid matrices (e.g. composites) and may potentially be released due to mechanical action, for example, by cutting or grinding.
This information is designed to be used by a person conducting a business or undertaking manufacturing CNTs or working with CNTs or products containing CNTs, workers in those organisations, occupational hygienists, work health and safety inspectors, health and safety representatives and other stakeholders.
What are carbon nanotubes?
Potential health concerns
Who has work health and safety duties relating to nanotechnologies?
Risk management methods — Overview
METHOD 1 — RISK MANAGEMENT WITH DETAILED HAZARD ANALYSIS AND EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT
Preparation for the risk management process
STEP 1 — HAZARD IDENTIFICATION
1.1 Carbon nanotubes characterisation
1.2 Other potential hazards
STEP 2 — RISK ASSESSMENT
2.1 Exposure assessment
2.2 Exposures for different tasks
2.3 Risk evaluation
2.4 Exposure limit for carbon nanotubes
STEP 3 — RISK CONTROL
3.1 Risk control strategies
3.2 Minimising the risk
3.3 Controls for handling CNTs to prevent exposure by different routes
3.4 Controls for tasks with different risk levels
3.5 Controls for specific activities
3.6 Risk Control Plan
3.7 Control validation
STEP 4 — MONITOR AND REVIEW
4.1 Emissions and exposure measurement and monitoring
4.2 Health monitoring and record of operations
METHOD 2 — RISK MANAGEMENT BY CONTROL BANDING
STEP 1 — DETERMINE EXPOSURE POTENTIAL
STEP 2 — DETERMINE THE CONTROL BAND
STEP 3 — APPLY CONTROLS
APPENDIX A — REFERENCES
APPENDIX B — CARBON NANOTUBE HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT RISK MANAGEMENT TOOL