The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

Experiment Hazard Class 14.3 – Engineered Nanomaterials - Unbound


This hazard classification applies to all experiments involving the use of unbound engineered nanomaterials as samples and preparatory work with dispersible nanomaterials.  Other hazard classifications and their associated hazard controls may also apply to experiments in this hazard class.  A more detailed review is also required for handling active nanomaterials or their entities.  The quantity needed of unbound nanomaterials at the beamline should be kept to minimum for the duration of the experiment.

Experiment Category

Experiments in this hazard class are categorized as high risk.  Implementation of appropriate engineered controls may lower the categorization to medium risk.

Hazard Control Verification Statements

Engineered Controls – Controls required in LMS-PROC-83: Safe Handling of Unbound Engineered Nanoscale Particles and as determined in the review of the experiment.  Activities which involve handling of dispersible engineered nanoparticles should be subject to the most rigorous control regimens (i.e. utilizing glove boxes, glovebags, or ventilated partial enclosures such as laboratory chemical hoods, wearing gloves, and/or wearing respirators).  Control of skin contact and particle inhalation should also be addressed for dispersible nanoparticles.   Maintenance operations on normally sealed vessels or ventilation systems may create exposure hazards which may require additional controls.

Procedural Controls – As determined in a review of the experiment.  Items such as wet wiping methods, waste generation, medical surveillance, and proper PPE should also be addressed.

Design Reviews and Equipment Inspections – Any experiments involving loose nanomaterials in containment require containment that can withstand the x-ray beam.  Experiments in this hazard class review may also require an additional review.  Allow sufficient time for this review to occur.


  • ESH590, Engineered Nanomaterials Orientation.
  • Additional training beyond APS core training completion will be determined by a review of the proposed activities.

Signs and Labeling – Containers with nanomaterials must be labeled: "Unbound Engineered Nanoscale Particles".  Post work areas as described in LMS-PROC-83.

Personal Protective Equipment – Gloves, lab coat, and safety glasses (with sideshields) are recommended for normal handling of dispersible nanomaterials.  Respiratory protection may be required dependent upon the review of the activity.   Gloves must be plastic or rubber and must protect against any solvents used and be long enough to cover wrist jewelry.  Use of walk-off mat or shoe covers or equivalent during spill clean up activities is also recommended.

Dosimetry and Monitoring – No special dosimetry or monitoring is required.  The Argonne Medical Department provides routine medical surveillance for Argonne employees identified through Job Hazard Questionnaires (JHQs) as working with Engineered Nanomaterials.

Shipping Engineered Nanomaterials – Dispersible nanomaterials (which include unbound nanomaterials and nanomaterials in liquid suspension) are to be shipped to Argonne and returned to the user's home institution through the Argonne Shipping & Receiving Department in Building 46.  Nanomaterials in dispersible form transported in buildings or on the ANL site must be in labeled secondary nonbreakable containers.  See LMS-PROC-84: Packaging, Transfer, and Shipment of Unbound Engineered Nanoscale Particles for transportation requirements.

Waste Management and Spill Response – Spills of nanomaterials are to be treated as hazardous waste cleanup and the materials properly disposed of through arrangements with Argonne Waste Management.  Nanomaterial waste must be labeled as 'Hazardous Waste containing Nanomaterials'.  Damp cleaning methods with soaps or cleaning oils is preferred.  Cleaning cloths should be properly disposed after use.  Drying and reuse of contaminated cloths can result in re-dispersion of particles and is therefore not allowed.  Use of commercially available wet or electrostatic microfiber cleaning cloths may also be effective in removing particles from surfaces with minimal dispersion into the air.  Energetic cleaning methods such as dry sweeping or the use of compressed air should be avoided or only used in conjunction with precautions that assure particles suspended by the cleaning action are trapped by HEPA filters.  If vacuum cleaning is employed, care should be taken that the HEPA filters are installed properly and bags and filters changed according to manufacturer's recommendations.

Experiment Authorization

Unless otherwise noted in the approved experiment safety plan, the PSC Deputy Associate Laboratory Director of Operations delegates the authority to authorize an experiment in this hazard class to a member of the APS Experiment Safety Review Board and resident beamline personnel having the authority to authorize experiments as listed in the ESAF system.  Approval by both the host beamline and APS Experiment Safety Review Board are mandatory prerequisites for experiment authorization.

Hazard Control Verification

The PSC Deputy Associate Laboratory Director of Operations delegates responsibility for verifying that required controls are in place to the experiment On-Site Spokesperson and Beamline Management.


Contact the APS User Safety Program with any questions or if the internal links are not working properly.

Reviewed: May 14, 2020