There is a clear demand for safe workplaces and good occupational health. The German Action Plan Nanotechnology 2015 recommended the development of procedures for the determination of exposure, strict work safety measures and independent safety research (Gazsó et al. 2012).
Law on the protection of employees
In Germany, both the German Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances are relevant regarding occupational health and safety regulation. In Europe, the document 89/391 / EEC (Framework Directive Safety and Health at Work) and 98/24 / EC (Occupational Safety and Health Chemical Agents) are relevant. The specific characteristics of nanomaterials are to be considered in the hazard assessment. If these are not known, the precautionary principle has to be applied. Further information is available under BekGS 527 (Announcement on Hazardous Substances) as well as under the BAuA/VCI document Guidance for Handling and Use of Nanomaterials at the Workplace.
In 2015, the Comittee on Hazardous Substances (AGS) has decided on an Assessment criterion for granular biopersistent particles without known significant specific toxicity generated from manufactured ultrafine particles.
In the current state of knowledge, a health hazard caused by certain nanomaterials cannot be ruled out. If there are no scientifically proven findings on the potential hazard of a specific nanomaterial, this material should therefore be regarded as a health hazard.
- BAuA (Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) 2016: Gesetzeslage zum Schutz der Arbeitnehmer
- DGUV 2010: Nanomaterialien am Arbeitsplatz. BGI/GUV-I 5149
- Gazsó et al. 2012: Nanomaterials and occupational safety – An overview (Nano Trust Dossier 29)