Improving Nanoparticle Risk Management

    MONTREAL, Feb. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The very first guide in Québec to deal
with managing the risks associated with synthetic nanoparticles has just been
published. It is a best practices guide published jointly by the Institut de
recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), the
Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) and NanoQuébec. The
guide sets out a prevention strategy appropriate to the workers and
researchers who use, manufacture or synthesize nanoparticles.

    A practical approach

    The authors of the guide note that the level of knowledge on health and
safety risks related specifically to nanoparticles is still very limited. For
one thing, the toxic effects linked to the ability of these particles to pass
through various biological barriers, disperse in the organism and accumulate
in certain organs and within cells have only been partially documented. While
we know that nanoparticles can be more toxic than their equivalent
larger-scale chemical counterparts, current knowledge nevertheless allows us
to manage the risks, even when the levels of toxicity and exposure are
uncertain. Designed for companies, researchers and other stakeholders
concerned about the effects of nanotechnologies, the guide describes the
current state of knowledge in the field and makes recommendations to encourage
taking responsibility for and controlling its risk factors so as to prevent
employment injuries. The guide ascertains the health, safety and environmental
risks of nanotechnologies, suggests an approach for evaluating and controlling
these risks, documents current practices at the international level and
specifies which factors should form part of an institutional prevention
program. In making the document public, Marie Larue, IRSST President and CEO
stated, "The guide does not address every issue associated with nanoparticles.
Its merits include recommending a preventive approach for minimizing
occupational exposure, suggesting a step-by-step approach and providing
concrete examples of applications in industrial settings and research

    Research opportunities

    It should be recalled that the IRSST and NanoQuébec had called on Québec
researchers to submit proposals to advance knowledge in the field of
prevention and effective management of the risks associated with
nanoparticles. The projects submitted employed an approach based on
eliminating risks at source. Those selected will we published.
    For more details or to download the report:

For further information:

For further information: Claude Ostiguy, Ph.D. chemistry Director,
Research Support and Expertise Department, IRSST, (514) 288-1551

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Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST)

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