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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 879671, 8 pages
Research Article

Development of a Control Banding Tool for Nanomaterials

1Institute for Work and Health—IST [Institut Universitaire Romand de Santé au Travail], Rue du Bugnon 21, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
2Institut de Recherche Robert-Sauvé en Santé et en Sécurité du Travail—IRSST, Montréal, Canada H3A 3C2
3Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité—INRS, 30 rue Olivier Noyer, 75680 Paris, France
4Institut Scientifique de Santé Publique, Rue Juliette Wytsmanstraat 14, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
5French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety ANSES, 27-31 Avenue du Général Leclerc, 94701 Maisons-Alfort, France

Received 21 January 2012; Accepted 19 April 2012

Academic Editor: Paul A. Schulte

Copyright © 2012 M. Riediker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Control banding (CB) can be a useful tool for managing the potential risks of nanomaterials. The here proposed CB, which should be part of an overall risk control strategy, groups materials by hazard and emission potential. The resulting decision matrix proposes control bands adapted to the risk potential levels and helps define an action plan. If this plan is not practical and financially feasible, a full risk assessment is launched. The hazard banding combines key concepts of nanomaterial toxicology: translocation across biological barriers, fibrous nature, solubility, and reactivity. Already existing classifications specific to the nanomaterial can be used “as is.” Otherwise, the toxicity of bulk or analogous substances gives an initial hazard band, which is increased if the substance is not easily soluble or if it has a higher reactivity than the substance. The emission potential bands are defined by the nanomaterials' physical form and process characteristics. Quantities, frequencies, and existing control measures are taken into account during the definition of the action plan. Control strategies range from room ventilation to full containment with expert advice. This CB approach, once validated, can be easily embedded in risk management systems. It allows integrating new toxicity data and needs no exposure data.