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Protective Clothing

“Protective clothing that would typically be required for a wet-chemistry laboratory would be appropriate and could include but not limited to:

  • Closed-toed shoes made of a low permeability material. (Disposable over-the- shoe booties may be necessary to prevent tracking nanomaterials from the laboratory.)
  • Long pants without cuffs
  • A long-sleeved shirt
  • Gauntlet-type gloves or nitrile gloves with extended sleeves
  • Laboratory coats
  • Wear polymer (e.g., nitrile rubber) gloves when handling engineered nanomaterials and particulates in liquids. Choose gloves only after considering the resistance of the glove to the chemical attack by both the nanomaterial and, if suspended in liquids, the liquid.
  • Recognizing that exposure to nanomaterials is not known to have “good warning properties,” change gloves routinely to minimize potential exposure hazards. Alternatively, double glove.
    • Keep contaminated gloves in a plastic bag or other sealed container until disposed.
    • Dispose of contaminated gloves in accordance with Section 6 of this document.
    • Wash hands and forearms after wearing gloves.”1
  • Wear appropriate PPE on a precautionary basis whenever the failure of a single control, including an engineered control, could entail a significant risk of exposure to researchers or support personnel. Alternatively, ensure that engineered controls such as, e.g., laboratory chemical hoods are equipped with performance monitors that will notify users of equipment malfunction.
  • Conduct a hazard evaluation to determine the selection and use personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for the level of hazard as per the requirements set forth in 29 CFR 1910. Protective clothing that would typically be required for a wet-chemistry laboratory would be appropriate and could include but not be limited to:
  • Closed-toed shoes made of a low permeability material. (Disposable over-the-shoe booties may be necessary to prevent tracking nanomaterials from the laboratory)
    • Long pants without cuffs
    • A long-sleeved shirt
    • Gauntlet-type gloves or nitrile gloves with extended sleeves
    • Laboratory coats
  • Wear polymer (e.g., nitrile rubber) gloves when handling engineered nanomaterials and particulates in liquids. Choose gloves only after considering the resistance of gloves to chemical attack by both the nanomaterial and, if suspended in liquids, the liquid.
    • Recognizing that exposure to nanomaterials is not known to have ‘good warning properties,’ change gloves routinely to minimize potential exposure hazards. Alternatively, double glove.
    • Keep contaminated gloves in a plastic bag or other sealed container in a hood until disposed.
    • Dispose of contaminated gloves in accordance with Section 6 of this document.
    • Wash hands and forearms after wearing gloves.
  • Wear eye protection, e.g., (spectacle type) safety glasses, face shields, chemical splash goggle, or other safety eyewear appropriate to the type and level of hazard. Do not consider face shields or safety glasses to provide sufficient protection against unbound, dry materials that could become airborne.
  • Use industrial hygiene professionals or paraprofessionals working under the direction of an industrial hygiene professional to evaluate airborne exposures to engineered nanomaterials. If respirators are to be used for protections against engineered nanoparticles, select and use half-mask, P-100 cartridge-type respirators or respirators that provide a higher level of protection.”2

Additional Resources:

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1. U.S. Department of Energy, Nanoscale Science Research Centers, “Approach to Nanomaterial ES&H,” 9-10 (Rev. 3a May 12, 2008).

2. “Approach to Nanomaterial ES&H“ U.S. Department of Energy, Nanoscale Science Research Centers, 8-10 (Revision 2 – 2007)