Nanotechnology British Standards

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Nanotechnology: Large scale gains for small scale work

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is an emergent area that is developing quickly. It is the branch of science and engineering that studies and exploits the unique behaviour of materials at a scale of approximately 1-100 nanometres.

Nanotechnology is widely seen to offer huge potential for development in fields as diverse as healthcare, IT and energy generation and storage. Interest in nanotechnology is growing rapidly, and governments and businesses across the world have begun to invest heavily in it.

Increased energy efficiency, a cleaner environment, more effective medical treatment and improved manufacturing production are just some of the potential benefits of nanotechnology. Working at a scale 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, its potential is enormous and far reaching.

As with many newly emerging technologies, there are still significant challenges to overcome in taking nanotechnology-enabled applications to market. BSI British Standards' publications can help solve these problems at every stage in developing a product or service, from idea to implementation, covering crucial aspects of safety, reliability and quality and defining terminology.

The UK is playing a key role in leading the development of nanotechnology standards through its national committee NTI/1 "Nanotechnologies" and holds both the chair and secretariat of ISO TC 229 "Nanotechnologies". Through these committees the UK will be able to support this emerging discipline and use standardization to help ensure its safe and successful global development and growth.

Find out more about NTI/1 – Nanotechnologies Standardization Committee

Download presentation on nanotechnologies standardization entitled: An introduction to standards and standardization for nanotechnologies (powerpoint 719KB)

View the documents for nanotechnology terminologies 

View the documents for nanotechnology guidance

View an introduction to nanotechnology standards and standards development

View this and other BSI presentations including free guidance on standards on Slideshare.

A range of documents relevant to nanotechnology is available from BSI to provide guidance for UK stakeholders. These publications address nanotechnology terminology, health and safety issues, product labelling and materials specification. Terminology and guidance are available for free download. See the links below.

BSI, CEN and ISO are all working on further documents, which will be published in due course.

Why standards for nanotechnologies are important

BSI’s publications will help to ensure that nanotechnology is developed and commercialised in an open, safe and responsible manner and will support:

  • Safety testing, legislation and regulation
  • Worker, public and environmental safety
  • Commercialisation and procurement
  • Patenting and IPR
  • Communication about the benefits, opportunities and potential problems associated with nanotechnologies.

Published ISO and CEN documents for purchase

PD 6699-3
Nanotechnologies. Guide to assessing airborne exposure in occupational settings relevant to nanomaterials

BS EN ISO 10801:2010
Nanotechnologies. Generation of metal nanoparticles for inhalation toxicity testing using the evaporation/condensation method

BS EN ISO 10808:2010
Nanotechnologies. Characterization of nanoparticles in inhalation exposure chambers for inhalation toxicity testing

DD ISO/TS 10867:2010
Nanotechnologies. Characterization of single-wall carbon nanotubes using near infrared photoluminescence spectroscopy

DD ISO/TS 11251:2010
Nanotechnologies. Characterization of volatile components in single-wall carbon nanotube samples using evolved gas analysis/gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry

PD ISO/TR 11360:2010
Nanotechnologies. Methodology for the classification and categorization of nanomaterials

PD ISO/TR 12802:2010
Nanotechnologies. Model taxonomic framework for use in developing vocabularies -- Core concepts 

PD ISO/TR 12885:2008
Nanotechnologies. Health and safety practices in occupational settings relevant to nanotechnologies

DD CEN ISO/TS 27687:2009
Nanotechnologies. Terminology and definitions for nano-objects. Nanoparticle, nanofibre and nanoplate

BS EN ISO 29701:2010
Nanotechnologies. Endotoxin test on nanomaterial samples for in vitro systems -- Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) test

DD ISO/TS 80004-1
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Part 1 : Core terms

DD ISO/TS 80004-3:2010
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Part 3: Carbon nano-objects

Published BSI documents for free download

PAS 71 Vocabulary - Nanoparticles.

PAS 130 Guidance on the labelling of manufactured nanoparticles and products containing manufactured nanoparticles

PAS 131 Terminology for medical, health and personal care applications of nanotechnologies.

PAS 132 Terminology for the bio-nano interface

PAS 133 Terminology for nanoscale measurement and instrumentation.

PAS 134 Terminology for carbon nanostructures

PAS 135 Terminology for nanofabrication

PAS 136 Terminology for nanomaterials

PAS 137 - Nanomaterials and nanotechnology-based products. Guide to regulation and standards 

PD 6699-1 Good practice guide for specifying manufactured nanomaterials

PD 6699-2 Guide to safe handling and disposal of manufactured nanomaterials

View the documents for nanotechnology guidance

Download free PDFs
Nanotechnology terminologies

Download free PDFs
Nanotechnology guidance


You might be interested in listening to the BBC Frontiers programme on Nanoparticles:

In this edition of Frontiers, Richard Hollingham investigates how a better understanding of the properties of nanoparticles is helping researchers develop novel medical treatments. He talks to NTI/1 committee member, Dr Simon Holland and Wendy Knight at GlaxoSmithKline about research into using nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents to precise locations in the body. Richard also visits MagForce, a German research company, that's developing a novel therapy using heated nanoparticles of iron oxide to destroy brain cancers.

On 18 March 2010, the Government published a cross-departmental strategy to ensure the UK has a safe, sustainable and dynamic nanotechnologies industry.

The strategy was developed by five Government departments and agencies, and follows a period of consultation with industry and consumer groups. It represents a single plan of action.

The Strategy can be viewed and downloaded from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills website.

Nanotechnology acronyms
Find out what they mean

Nanotechnology links
Useful links for further reading

BSI Committee for Nanotechnologies (NTI/1)
UK standardization in the emerging field of nanotechnologies is the responsibility of the BSI technical committee NTI/1. This technical committee (TC) was established in June 2004 and has the following Terms of Reference.

"Nanotechnologies" - Committee Activities
The UK National Committee for Nanotechnologies, NTI/1, was established in June 2004 with a remit to develop standards for nanotechnologies and promote their use by industry and other stakeholders.

BSI Nanotechnologies (NTI/1) Committee Members
The committee, chaired by Dr Peter Hatto, Director of Research for Ionbond Ltd, currently consists of representatives of the following organisations.

View the documents for nanotechnology terminologies 

View the documents for nanotechnology guidance

View BSI’s presentation about nanotechnology standards, and get an introduction to nanotechnology standards and standards development

View this and other BSI presentations including free guidance on standards on Slideshare.

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