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NANOTECHNOLOGY

Researchers

NIOSH is uniquely positioned to lead this important scientific advancement and fill knowledge gaps about the effects of engineered nanoparticles. With current limited resources, NIOSH is pursuing strategic, collaborative research and is engaging in comprehensive efforts to fill knowledge gaps about the hazards and risks related to occupational exposure to carbon nanotubes and other engineered nanoparticles.

The links below are provided for academics and for those who are pursuing nanotechnology related research:

Critical Topic Areas

NIOSH has identified 10 critical topic areas to guide in addressing knowledge gaps, developing strategies, and providing recommendations. Each topic provides a brief description of the research that NIOSH is conducting in the area of nanotechnology and the applications and implications of nanomaterials in the workplace.

NIOSH Research

This section contains information specific to the research activities that NIOSH is conducting in the field of nanotechnology. It also includes NIOSH’s strategic plan which outlines a multi-dimensional research agenda that addresses NIOSH’s internal and external efforts which allow it to lead the occupational safety and health community collaboratively in nanotechnology research.

NIOSH is actively researching nanotechnology through the following initiatives:

  • Nanotechnology is a cross-sector program in the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) program portfolio.
  • A number of active research programs within NIOSH are investigating ultrafine and nanoparticle behavior, health risks associated with nanomaterials, and field evaluations of potential nanoparticle emissions in the workplace.
  • The NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center was developed in 2004 to coordinate institute-wide nanotechnology-related activities.
  • NIOSH is also working with other Federal agencies to address health issues associated with nanotechnology, including participation in the National Nanotechnology Initiative1 and the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council committee on technology (NSET).

Strategic Plan
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is pleased to present the Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance: Filling the Knowledge Gaps. This plan updates the September 2005 strategic plan using knowledge gained from results of ongoing research as described in the 2007 report Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: A Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center and the 2009 report Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: A Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center, Project Updates for 2007 and 2008. The NIOSH nanotechnology research program is a cross-sector program that supports the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). Nanotechnology provides many opportunities and challenges for all of us in occupational safety and health. The Strategic Plan for the nanotechnology program is the roadmap we are using to advance knowledge about the implications and applications of nanomaterials.

NIOSH’s key role in conducting and partnering in research on occupational exposures to nanomaterials is noted in the strategic plan under the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan: December 2007 charts the vision, goals, and plans by which NIOSH and partner agencies will work to expedite the responsible advancement of nanotechnology over the next 5 to 10 years, and to ensure that the U.S. will remain a world leader in nanotechnology research and development.

NIOSH Position Statement
This position statement describes NIOSH’s strategic approach to nanotechnology research.

NIOSH Publications

The following NIOSH publications provide useful information about nanotechnology for occupational safety and health professionals:

Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2010-105
This plan updates the September 2005 strategic plan using knowledge gained from results of ongoing research as described in the 2007 report Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: A Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center and the 2009 report Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: A Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center, Project Updates for 2007 and 2008.

Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace A Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2010-104
This document is a report of the progress of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) for 2007 through 2008. Using only internally redirected resources, the NTRC has continued to make contributions to all the steps in the continuum from hazard identification to risk management.

Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology: Managing the Health and Safety Concerns Associated with Engineered Nanomaterials
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2009-125
This document reviews what is currently known about nanoparticle toxicity, process emissions and exposure assessment, engineering controls, and personal protective equipment. This updated version of the document incorporates some of the latest results of NIOSH research, but it is only a starting point. The document serves a dual purpose: it is a summary of NIOSH's current thinking and interim recommendations; and it is a request from NIOSH to occupational safety and health practitioners, researchers, product innovators and manufacturers, employers, workers, interest group members, and the general public to exchange information that will ensure that no worker suffers material impairment of safety or health as nanotechnology develops.

Interim Guidance for Medical Screening and Hazard Surveillance for Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-116
[Supersedes Draft Interim Guidance: Medical Screening for Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles] This document was developed to address concerns about whether workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles will be at increased risk of adverse health effects and whether medical screening or some other type of occupational health surveillance is appropriate for these workers. Although increasing evidence indicates that exposure to some engineered nanoparticles can cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals, insufficient medical evidence exists at this time to recommend the specific medical screening of workers potentially exposed to engineered nanoparticles.

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.

Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2008-112
This brochure provides an introduction to nanotechnology in the workplace for employers, managers, and safety and health professionals. It addresses the following questions: Are nanoparticles hazardous to workers? How can workers be exposed? Can nanoparticles be measured? Can worker exposures be controlled?

Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-123
This document is a report of the progress of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) since its inception in 2004 through 2006. Using only internally redirected resources, the NTRC has begun to make contributions to all the steps in the continuum from hazard identification to risk management.

Documents for Public Comment

NIOSH invites internal and external stakeholders, researchers, industry, and anyone interested in nanotechnology to participate in an information exchange. NIOSH seeks feedback, comments, and review of documents developed to advance occupational safety and health in the field of nanotechnology. NIOSH is also interested in hearing about any relevant information or experiences pertaining to the field of nanotechnology. As documents become available for public comment, they will be posted here.

Partnerships and Collaborative Workshops

The Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) maintains many partnerships and collaborations in nanotechnology research.

 
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