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Housekeeping and Waste Management

“Practice good housekeeping in laboratories where nanomaterials are handled. Follow a graded approach paying attention where dispersible nanomaterials are handled.

  • Insofar as practicable, maintain all working surfaces (i.e., benches, glassware, apparatus, exhaust hoods, support equipment etc.) free of engineered nanoparticle contamination and otherwise limit worker exposure engineered nanoparticles and associated hazards.
  • In areas where engineered nanoparticles might settle, perform precautionary cleaning, for example, by wiping horizontal surfaces with a moistened disposable wipe, no less frequently than at the end of each shift.
  • Before selecting a cleaning method, consider the potential for complications due to the physical and chemical properties of the engineered nanoparticles, particularly in the case of larger spills. Complications could include reactions with cleaning materials and other materials in the locations where the waste will be held. Such locations include vacuum cleaner filters and canisters.
  • Clean up dry, engineered nanomaterials using:
    • A dedicated, approved HEPA vacuum whose filtration effectiveness has been verified (Note: Consider possible pyrophoric hazards associated with vacuuming up nanoparticles)
    • Wet wiping
    • Other facility-approved methods that do not involve dry sweeping or the use of compressed air
  • Dispose of used cleaning materials and wastes in accordance with the home Laboratory’s hazardous-waste procedures.”1


1. U.S. Department of Energy, Nanoscale Science Research Centers, “Approach to Nanomaterial ES&H,” 8 (Rev. 3a May 12, 2008)