The German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety (BAuA) has recently published a Code of practice for the safe handling of nanomaterials in research institutions and SMEs.

Entitled ‘Safe handling of nanomaterials and other advanced materials in workplaces’, it supports risk assessment and risk management when working with nanomaterials. In practical terms, it sets out four criteria for an adequate risk assessment.

These criteria assess the physical condition of the nanomaterial (present in a matrix, in liquid form or in powder form), the solubility of the nanomaterial, the fibre morphology and the toxicity of the nanoscale substance.

Based on these criteria, safety strategy levels tailored to the respective groups of nanomaterials can be drawn up. The safety strategy uses the precautionary approach and follows the priority list of the STOP principle: substitution, technical measures, organisational measures and personal protection measures.

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