Nanotechnology British Standards

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Nanotechnology: Large scale gains for small scale work

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is an evolving 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 evolving 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 evolving 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.

PAS publications within Nanotechnology feed into full publications of ISO standards.

Techniques in particle sizing and analysis and related standard publications.

Euromet Magnetic Nanoparticles standardization


Standards and Publications

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

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

PD CEN ISO/TS 80004-2:2017
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Nano-objects

PD CEN ISO/TS 80004-1:2014
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Core terms

PD CEN ISO/TS 13830:2013
Nanotechnologies. Guidance on voluntary labelling for consumer products containing manufactured nano-objects

DD ISO/TS 80004-7:2011
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Diagnostics and therapeutics for healthcare  

DD ISO/TS 80004-5:2011
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Nano/bio interface 

PD ISO/TS 80004-6:2015
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Nano-object characterization  

PD CEN ISO/TS 80004-3:2014
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Carbon nano-objects

PD ISO/TS 80004-8:2013 
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Nanomanufacturing processes

PD CEN ISO/TS 80004-4:2014.
Nanotechnologies. Vocabulary. Nanostructured materials 


Published BSI documents for free download

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

Download free PDFs
Nanotechnology guidance


Related Information

You may be interested in the measuring, monitoring of airborne nanoparticles documentation as published by the HSL</strong></strong></p> <p>This bulletins service is designed to provide an overview of publications of studies that have examined the exposure and potential health effects of nanomaterials. The focus of the service is human exposure and health effects, particularly in the occupational setting. Inevitably there will be some overlap between studies of exposure of other groups (i.e. consumers). However, as the nanotechnology literature is expanding rapidly, the literature search results have been screened to ensure that the studies listed are relevant to HSE and its responsibility to manage health and safety in the workplace:</p> <p><a href=">Find out more


This guidance describes how to control occupational exposure to manufactured nanomaterials in the workplace. It will help you understand what you need to do to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) (as amended) when you work with these substances:

You may be interested in the nano in food:

Growing concerns about nano, for example being introduced into food. The Scientific Committee of the House of Lords into nanotechnology and food identified this back in 2009-10:

Find out more

The European Commission September 11, 2013, (EC) submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a proposed regulation amending Regulation 1169/2011 concerning the provision of food information to consumers as regards the definition of engineered nanomaterials (ENM):

You may be interested in fine bubbles.

ISO/TC 281 Fine Bubble Technology met for their inaugural meeting in December 2013.  Chaired by Mr Maurice Wedd.  The meeting agreed to the creation of two working groups  (WG 1 is for the standards development relating to general principle, and WG 2 to characterization and measurement).  An adhoc working group was also created to investigate the future market and will report to the Secretariat at the next meeting of the ISO committee (September 2014).

If you have an interest in the work of the committee please contact the committee secretary Simon Merriman - 

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