The University of Iowa

Nanomaterials (NMs) Handling

Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary science and technology and encompasses physical, chemical, biological, engineering and electronic processes. Nanomaterials (NM) are nano-sized substances having at least one external dimension in the size range of 1-100 nanometers. NMs include nanoparticles (NPs), nanostructured materials and ultrafine particles, and their agglomerates and aggregates.

Typically, nanomaterial safety (nano safety) in a research laboratory applies to engineered nano-sized materials only and does not apply to bulk micro-sized materials, bacteria, viruses, DNA, consumer products, etc. However, if NMs are treated or impregnated with the above mentioned biological organisms, tissues or are used in laboratory animals, then both nano safety and biosafety procedures (or whichever is most stringent) will be implemented to protect the researchers and the environment.

Contact information and areas of expertise can be found on the Contact Us page.



  • Nanomaterials Research Safety - W491CM
    • This course is recommended for individuals working with nanomaterials in the university research laboratories.
    • Audience: Personnel working with nanomaterials that present a higher hazard level to them or others, e.g., carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, and metal and metal oxide nanoparticles can diffuse through the respiratory system and can potentially translocate to different parts of the body.

For further training and registration information, go to EHS Safety Training.

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