Using Nanomaterials at Work: Including Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) and Other Biopersistent High Aspect Ratio Nanomaterials (HARNs)

Publication Date : 2013
Code : 92
1,240 Visited Entry Date : 2017/10/04


Volume 27 Pages
Document type Guide & Procedure
Subject Occupational Safety

This guidance describes how to control occupational exposure to manufactured nanomaterials in the workplace. It will help you understand what you need to do to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) (as amended) when you work with these substances.

If you work with nanomaterials this guidance will help you protect your employees. If you run a medium-sized or large business, where decisions about controlling hazardous substances are more complex, you may also need professional advice. This guidance will also be useful for trade union and employee health and safety representatives.

This guidance is specifically about the manufacture and manipulation of all manufactured nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and other biopersistent high aspect ratio nanomaterials (HARNs). It has been prepared in response to emerging evidence about the toxicity of these materials.

The general control principles described can be applied to all nanomaterials used in the workplace. If using HARNS and other biopersistent nanomaterials, including CNTs, all the general principles described and the extra information highlighted in the labelled boxes should be applied.


   Who is this guidance for?

   Why do I need to read this guidance?

   What is a nanomaterial?


Legal duties





Establishing hazard

   A key step to understanding the hazards of nanomaterials is characterisation

   Workplace exposure limits


Assessing risk

   Risk assessment

   Where can exposure occur?

   Think about each task


Control of risk

   What control measures?

   Engineering control measures

   Personal protective equipment (PPE)



Cleaning spillages


Signage in the workplace for nanomaterials


Transport of nanomaterials around and outside the workplace


Supply of nanomaterials outside the workplace 16


Information, instruction and training


Skills and experience


   Worker involvement


Health surveillance


Disposal and waste


Getting help


Appendix 1: Nanomaterial control flowchart


Appendix 2: Local exhaust ventilation (LEV)




Further information
  • Health and Safety Executive Published by
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