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NTRC Strategic Plan

July 2011
NIOSH Docket Number 134A

Since 2004, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has pioneered research on the toxicological properties and characteristics of nanoparticles. This research has involved characterizing occupationally relevant nanoparticles for predicting whether these particles pose a risk of adverse health effects and for providing guidance on controlling workplace exposures. In September 2005, NIOSH developed a strategic plan to further guide the Institute in identifying and prioritizing nanotechnology research. In 2009 this strategic plan [/niosh/topics/nanotech/strat_plan.html] was updated based on knowledge gained from results of ongoing NIOSH research [see Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace; A Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center /niosh/docs/2007-123/] and from stakeholder input.

NIOSH would like to build on the accomplishments of ongoing research [see /niosh/docs/2010-104/] to develop strategic research goals and objectives through 2015. NIOSH has identified 10 critical research areas for nanotechnology research and communication. These 10 critical research areas are (1) toxicity and internal dose, (2) measurement methods, (3) exposure assessment, (4) epidemiology and surveillance, (5) risk assessment, (6) engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), (7) fire and explosion safety, (8) recommendations and guidance, (9) communication and information, and (10) applications.

NIOSH is considering focusing the overarching strategic research goals for these critical areas on 5 key goals: (1) Provide guidance to protect workers, (2) alert workers, employers, governments, and the public about possible new hazards, (3) assess the hazards of nanomaterials and the risks to workers, (4) help workers by assessing and implementing exposure registries, and (5) assess the level of protection practiced in US workplaces.

NIOSH requests comment on how research in these 10 critical areas and the 5 overarching goals can be enhanced. Examples of requested information include, but are not limited to:

  1. The need for toxicity evaluation and/or workplace exposure characterization of engineered nanoparticles not currently being studied.
  2. Development of technical and educational guidance materials.
  3. Development of additional partnerships and collaborations.
  4. Research in the development of risk management strategies (e.g., exposure assessment, engineering controls).

Related Docket


Notice; 76 FR 12361; Notice of public comment period; 3/7/11 [PDF - 2,256 KB]

NIOSH publication "Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace"; DHHS (NIOSH) 2007-103; 6/1/07 [PDF - 136,393 KB]

NIOSH draft document "Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance: Filling the Knowledge Gaps"; 2/26/08 [PDF - 63,411 KB]

NIOSH publication "Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance: Filling the Knowledge Gaps";DHHS (NIOSH) 2010-105; 11/1/09 [PDF - 50,938 KB]

Submissions in Order of Receipt

Submission to the docket from Tiina Reponen (University of Cincinnati, ERC); 3/31/11 [PDF - 1,110 KB]

Submission to the docket from Jay West (American Chemistry Council); 4/15/11 [PDF - 3,510 KB]

Submission to the docket from ACOEM; 4/18/11 [PDF - 1,016 KB]