Field Studies Effort
As part of its nanotechnology research agenda, NIOSH created a field studies team to assess workplace processes, materials and control technologies associated with nanotechnology and conduct on-site assessments of potential occupational exposure to a variety of nanomaterials. The team was tasked with expanding knowledge of the research, production, and use of engineered nanomaterials through the establishment of collaborative partnerships with public and private sector producers and users. These partnerships provide opportunities for on-site investigations. This provides NIOSH with the opportunity to observe and better understand the variety of work processes used in nanomaterial workplaces, and to determine whether or not various nanomaterial processes release nanomaterials, and subsequently characterize occupational exposures.
The field team has conducted site visits in a variety of facilities around the country that are involved in the research, manufacture, or use of various types of nanomaterials. Throughout the last 6 years, the NIOSH Field Studies team has refined its nanomaterial exposure characterization sampling strategy. The goals of the Nanotechnology Field Studies team are:
- To evaluate the entire material flow of a process and identify points of potential material emission that can result in worker exposure based on observation of the process
- To use and evaluate an array of field-portable instruments and conventional air sampling methods to characterize exposures
- To evaluate engineering controls and their effectiveness in reducing emissions and exposures to engineered nanomaterials
- To evaluate specific worker practices used during the production or use of nanomaterials
- Evaluate the use of personal protective equipment in use, if any, including respiratory protection
This field research effort is fully funded by NIOSH; therefore there is no monetary cost to the participant. In addition, there are federal laws and regulations that provide protection for the proprietary and trade secret information of the participating companies.
For more information regarding the NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Research Effort:
- contact the Field Studies Team leader Kenneth Martinez, MSEE, CIH at (513) 533-8640,
- or the NTRC Coordinator Charles Geraci, PhD., CIH at (513) 533-8339.
Companies interested in receiving a visit by the Field Studies Team are encouraged to contact NIOSH.
NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Research Effort Fact Sheet
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2008-121
Information about NIOSH field research to assess workplace processes, materials, and control technologies associated with nanotechnology.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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