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WHO Guidelines on Nanomaterials Protection Published

Date:12 Jan 2018

The World Health Organization's (WHO) "Guidelines on Protecting Workers from Manufactured Nanomaterials" have been published. According to Dr. Evelyn Kortum, a Technical Officer for Workers' Health, the publication of these guidelines has already generated many tweets and has gone around the virtual world.

The Guidelines provide guidance for policy makers and occupational health professionals in their decision-making about protection against the potential risks of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs). A large group of experts, recognized in the publication, prepared these guidelines because:

1. WHO identified the assessment of health impacts of new technologies, work processes, and products as one of the activities under the Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health adopted in 2007
2. The WHO Global Network of CCs in Occupational Health selected MNMs as a key focus of its activity with a focus on low- and middle-income settings.
3. The recent increase in the production of MNM demands greater attention to potential toxicity and adverse health effects following exposure to MNMs.
4. Newly developed MNMs are not tested sufficiently for possible health hazards, they should be considered as hazardous unless there is clear proof that they are not.

The guidelines include best-practice examples with respect to worker involvement, training, and education, as well as 11 recommendations that range from the assessment of health hazards and exposure to control of exposure and controls to reduce the level of exposure.

A link to the document follows in the next news item.