35 Laboratory Safety Manual Environmental Health and Safety Nanotechnology Nanotechnology research involves the creation, manipulation, and use of materials with at least one dimension in the 1-100 nanometer (nm) range. Particles of this size may have hazardous properties that are not yet fully understood. Inhaled nanomaterials can cross the lung/blood barrier and deposit in internal organs. Skin penetration is another potential exposure route for nanoparticles. Because nanomaterial toxicity is not fully understood, nanomaterials must be treated with a high level of control. General Safety Requirements • Treat all nanomaterials as hazardous substances. • Mixing, sonication, weighing, or agitation of nanomaterials must be done in a glove box, biosafety cabinet, or chemical fume hood. • To ensure containment, use fume hood best practices when working with nanomaterials. • Transport and store nanomaterials in sealed containers. • Any vacuuming of nanomaterials must be done with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuum that has been certified by EH&S. • When appropriate, use soapy water to clean nanoparticles from surfaces. Avoid using solvents for surface cleaning if possible. • Review explosion and fire hazards for processes producing airborne dust materials that have high reactivity. • Written SOPs must be created for laboratory work involving nanomaterials. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) • At minimum, a laboratory coat, safety goggles, gloves, and fully closed shoes must be worn when using nanomaterials. • To eliminate nanomaterial skin contact, wear appropriate gloves, placing the glove over the end of the lab coat sleeve. The use of gauntlet style gloves may allow for better sleeve placement under gloves. Wash hands after using nanomaterials.