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WHO Guidelines on Nanomaterials and Worker's Health

Workers in all countries face new risks from manufacturing applications of rapidly advancing new technologies based on nanometer-scale atomic structures known as nanomaterials.

The World Health Assembly 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, it adopted in 2007, and the WHO Global Network of Collaborating Centers in Occupational Health has selected manufactured nanoparticles as a key focus of their activity.

To address occupational risks of nanomaterials, WHO is developing Guidelines to "Protecting Workers from Potential Risks of Manufactured Nanomaterials" (WHO/NANOH). These Guidelines aim to facilitate improvements in occupational health and safety of workers potentially exposed to nanomaterials in a broad range of manufacturing and social environments. The guidelines will incorporate elements of risk assessment and risk management and contextual issues. They will provide recommendations to improve occupational safety and protect health of workers using nanomaterials in all countries and especially in low and medium-income countries.

The guidelines development will involve establishing a Guideline Developing Group and an External Review Group, which will reflect the diversity of manufactured nanomaterials and manufacturing processes on the global scale and the cultural differences of workplace safety.

The Guideline Developing Group will oversee important elements in the guideline development process such as drafting guideline text, while the External Review Group will be tasked with critical review of the scientific evidence and of the guidelines text.

WHO is in the process of identifying scientific knowledge and expertise on nanomaterials and health to contribute to the above initiative.

Relevant scientific publications and references can be sent to To propose experts to potentially participate in the development of these guidelines as writers or members of the Guideline Developing Group and the External Review Group, please submit names, curriculum vitae along with completed “Declaration of Interest” forms to Submissions will be accepted until end February 2011. Membership selection process will aim at achieving a balance of representation by expertise, gender, region, and stakeholder groups. Therefore, while all submissions will be considered, not all will be selected.

Declarations of interest in supporting this project through other contributions are welcome and can be sent to

Nanohealth Declaration of Interest Form

Source: World Health Organization /...

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