News and Events
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health
NIOSH’s research and recommendations for the development of safe nanotechnology are reflected in a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Feb. 7, Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health. Dr. Paul Schulte and Dr. Charles Geraci, NIOSH’s program manager and program coordinator for nanotechnology research, respectively, represented NIOSH in a national forum discussion that provided the foundation for the report.
Updated NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance Strategic Plan
This NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance Strategic Plan updates the November 2009 strategic plan with knowledge gained from results of ongoing research. This plan is the roadmap being used to advance basic understanding of the toxicology and workplace exposures involved so that appropriate risk management practices can be implemented during discovery, development, and commercialization of engineered nanomaterials. NIOSH will strive to remain at the forefront of developing guidance that supports and promotes the safe and responsible development of such a promising technology.
Current Strategies for Engineering Controls in Nanomaterial Production and Downstream Handling Processes
The focus of this guidance document is to identify and describe strategies for the engineering control of worker exposure during the production or use of engineered nanomaterials. Engineered nanomaterials are materials that are intentionally produced and have at least one primary dimension less than 100 nanometers (nm). Nanomaterials may have properties different from those of larger particles of the same material, making them unique and desirable for specific product applications. The consumer products market currently has more than 1,000 nanomaterial-containing products including makeup, sunscreen, food storage products, appliances, clothing, electronics, computers, sporting goods, and coatings. As more nanomaterials are introduced into the workplace and nano-enabled products enter the market, it is essential that producers and users of engineered nanomaterials ensure a safe and healthy work environment.
This NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin (1) reviews the animal and other toxicological data relevant to assessing the potential non-malignant adverse respiratory effects of CNT and CNF, (2) provides a quantitative risk assessment based on animal dose-response data, (3) proposes a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 1 μg/m3 elemental carbon as a respirable mass 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) concentration, and (4) describes strategies for controlling workplace exposures and implementing a medical surveillance program. The NIOSH REL is expected to reduce the risk for pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis.
At the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, NIOSH researchers reported preliminary findings from a new laboratory study in which mice were exposed by inhalation to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). This study indicates that MWCNT can function as a significant promotor of lung tumor growth when coupled with exposure to a known carcinogen. Additional information on this study can be viewed on the NIOSH Science Blog
Dates: October 29-31, 2013
Location: Nagoya Congress Center, Nagoya, Japan
NIOSH is serving on the planning committee of the 6th International Nanotechnology: Occupational and Environmental Health symposium (NanOEH), planned for Nagoya, Japan, October 28-13, 2013. The 6th International NanOEH Symposium will provide a high quality scientific forum for scientists and practitioners to present and discuss the interaction between technical advances and societal, occupational and environmental impacts in the field of nanotechnology research. This series of symposia has been recognized as one of the premier conferences related with safety of nanotechnology. The aim of the symposium is to share the latest knowledge on risks related with nanotechnology to reduce these potential risks
Exposures of human cells and exposures of mice to certain types of nanoparticles in laboratory studies produced cellular changes that are associated with risks for disorders of the autoimmune system such as rheumatoid arthritis, NIOSH scientists and colleagues reported in a paper published online by the peer-reviewed journal Future Medicine. The findings add to the body of scientific evidence that helps NIOSH to better assess potential occupational health risks from nanomaterials and continue to work with partners to recommend prudent workplace health and safety practices.
Safe Nano Design: Molecule » Manufacturing » Market
Date: August 14 – 16, 2012
Location: College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering of the University at Albany, Albany, NY
Event Organizer:NIOSH Prevention through Design Program and the Nanotechnology Research Center
Participants at this workshop will provide input into the safe commercialization of nano products resulting in the development of guidelines for the safe synthesis of nanoparticles and associated products, using a Prevention-through-Design approach. The workshop will focus on: efforts to develop safer nano molecules that have the same functionality; process containment and control, based on the considerations of risk of exposure to workers; and the management system approaches for including occupational safety and health into the nanoparticle synthetic process, product development, and product manufacture.
Safe Nano Design: Molecule » Manufacturing » Market
NIOSH sponsored a Supplement of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
A Supplement of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
was recently published that contains selected papers from the Nanomaterials and Worker Health, Medical Surveillance, Exposure Registries and Epidemiologic Research Conference sponsored by NIOSH in Keystone, Colorado, July 2010.
NIOSH Invited Comments for Updating Its Strategic Plan
NIOSH invited comments by April 15, 2011, on the types of research relevant to hazard identification and risk management that it should consider in updating its strategic plan on nanotechnology research.
NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., and NIOSH Senior Scientist Vladimir Murashov, Ph.D., are the co-editors of a new technical book, Nanotechnology Standards, published by Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. The book is described as the first comprehensive collection of state-of-the-art reviews of twenty-first century nanotechnology standards development written by an international team of experts representing both the international standards development community and the nanosciences community. Dr. Howard and Dr. Murashov contributed the introduction to the book, and a chapter, “Health and Safety Standards,” that describes voluntary, consensus-type standards adopted by the private sector as well as mandatory, or government-regulatory, health-related standards for the workplace.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) invited public comment on a draft document, "Current Intelligence Bulletin: Occupational Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers." For public review and comment, the draft document summarizes current scientific knowledge about the occupational safety and health implications of carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers, and recommends an occupational exposure limit and measures for controlling work related exposures to those types of nanomaterials, based on the current state of knowledge.
Mark your calendars for the 5th International Conference on Nanotechnology-Occupational and Environmental Health , scheduled to be held on Aug. 9-12, 2011, in Boston, Mass. NIOSH is a co-sponsor of the conference, which provides a biennial forum for communicating and sharing information on the health, safety, and environmental implications of nanotechnology.
NIOSH will participate in the "INRS Occupational Research Conference 2011," a scientific conference addressing the occupational risks associated with nanomaterials and nanoparticles. The conference is being organized by the Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité (INRS), a leading institute conducting research and providing guidance on the occupational safety and health in France, in association with the Partnership for European Research in Occupational Safety and Health (PEROSH). The INRS Occupational Health Research Conference will be held in Nancy, France, April 5-7, 2011. The abstract submission deadline is October 15, 2010.
A new NIOSH Impact Sheet describes the process and results of an innovative method developed by NIOSH researchers to deliver carbon nanotubes to mice in laboratory studies. The new method offers a breakthrough over challenges encountered with a widely used delivery method.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and a university-based nanotechnology research center in the Northeast announced a formal partnership Sept. 22 that will provide companies with practical research and guidance to promote occupational health and safety in nanotechnology. More information can be found here.
NIOSH will join other federal partners at the Nanotechnology Innovation Summit, Dec. 8-10, 2010, in National Harbor, Md. organized by the Nano Science and Technology Institute in cooperation with the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. More information can be found at here.
Dr. Charles Geraci, coordinator of NIOSH’s nanotechnology research program, will be an invited speaker at a special symposium on health, safety, and environment, as part of a conference observing the 25th Anniversary of the discovery of the Buckyball. The conference, sponsored by the Smalley Institute at Rice University, will be held October 10-13 in Houston, Texas. More information can be found on here.
As part of a proactive approach supporting responsible development of nanotechnology, organizations around the world already are developing precautionary interim occupational exposure limits for nanomaterials. In a paper published online July 1, 2010 by the Journal of Nanoparticle Research, NIOSH’s Paul Schulte, Vladimir Murashov, Ralph Zumwalde, Eileen Kuempel, and Charles Geraci review the state of the art in developing such limits.
NIOSH invites its partners and stakeholders to read and comment on responses to the National Nanotechnology Initiative's (NNI) 2010 Strategic Plan. One of the central goals of the plan - the development of responsible nanotechnology - reflects NIOSH’s position that research on the health, safety, and environmental implications of nanotechnology is integral to the success of this emerging technology and to U.S. leadership in the global market. NNI invited responses on the plan from July 13 to August 15, 2010. For more information and to comment on responses that were received during that time, and suggestions, visit the NNI portal.
NIOSH and the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center sponsored the conference on Nanomaterials and Worker Health: Medical Surveillance, Exposure Registries, and Epidemiologic Research. The conference was held on July 21-23, 2010, at the Keystone Resort and Conference Center in Keystone, Colorado.
NIOSH's international partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to examine potential occupational health and safety risks from nanoparticles is reflected in a new OECD report, "Report of the Workshop on Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials in a Regulatory Context." NIOSH representatives participated in the workshop and contributed to the report. The workshop provides input for an SG6 document on issues relating to risk assessment methods for engineered nanoparticles. More information can be found here.
Laboratory studies by Dr. Anna Shvedova of NIOSH and outside colleagues, reported in a paper posted online by the journal Nature Nanotechnology on April 4 ahead of publication, discovered that carbon nanotubes were biodegraded by an enzyme found in white blood cells, neutrophils. The results are important for scientists in evaluating the biological effects of carbon nanotubes, particularly their fate and role in inflammation.
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