European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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7 October 2015

The ETUI hosts a meeting of WHO experts on nanomaterials

On 3-4 September the ETUI hosted the 3rd World Health Organization (WHO) Workshop of the WHO Guideline Development Group on Nanomaterials and Workers’ Health.

This expert group was set up in 2012 after workers’ exposure to manufactured nanomaterials was identified by the WHO as a priority for its Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health. The group was asked to draw up guidelines aimed at improving the prevention of occupational risks in a broad range of manufacturing and social environments where workers are potentially exposed to nanomaterials.

The guidelines will incorporate elements of risk assessment and risk management. They will provide recommendations to improve occupational safety and protect the health of workers using nanomaterials around the world, especially in low and middle-income countries.

The participants included reviewers, methodologists, WHO officials and members of the Guideline Development Group.

The reviewers provided a synopsis of all of the systematic reviews including the quality of evidence that needed to be reflected in the final WHO Guidelines. That was used as the basis for the first draft of the recommendations. The guidelines are expected to be published by the end of 2015.

The head of the ETUI’s Health and Safety and Working Conditions Unit, Aida Ponce, took part in the debates. The ETUI has been involved in the work of the WHO’s committee on nanomaterials since 2008.

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