Evaluating the Control Banding Nanotool: a qualitative risk assessment method for controlling nanoparticle exposures
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Control banding (CB) strategies offer simplified processes for controlling worker exposures in the absence of firm toxicological and exposure information. The nanotechnology industry is an excellent candidate for applying such strategies with overwhelming uncertainties of work-related health risks posed by nanomaterials. A recent survey shows that a majority of nanomaterial producers are not performing a basic risk assessment of their product in use. The CB Nanotool, used internationally, was developed to conduct qualitative risk assessments to control nanoparticle exposures. Nanotoxicology experts have requested standardization of toxicological parameters to ensure better utility and consistency of research. Such standardization would fit well in the CB Nanotool’s severity and probability risk matrix, therefore enhancing the protection of nanotechnology industry workers. This article further evaluates the CB Nanotool for structure, weighting of risk factors, and utility for exposure mitigation, and suggests improvements for the CB Nanotool and the research needed to bolster its effectiveness.