The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance & Technology (OTA) has prepared guidance that will be posted on its Website to encourage the safe use of engineered nanoparticles. OTA is a department of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which helps businesses and other organizations improve their environmental performance as well as conserve energy, water and other resources. According to OTA, the guidance was prepared for “the express purpose of assisting in the development of this technology, as failure to prevent exposures or releases will not just risk harm to health or the environment—it will also impede the common interest in realizing the benefits that nanotechnology can provide.”  

The guidance recommends that facilities handling engineered nanoparticles develop a risk-reduction program with the goal of preventing exposure and releases that may cause harm. Topics include (i) “good management practices”; (ii) “preventive materials selection and process design”; (iii) “containment”; (iv) “proper personal protective equipment”; (v) “preventing facility releases”; (vi) “cleanup, storage, transfer”; (vii) “impacts of use and postuse dispositions”; (viii) “labeling”; (ix) “proactive compliance”; and (x) “transparency.” It also contains references to numerous studies on the potential risks associated with engineered nanoparticles.