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Progress toward safe nanotechnology in the workplace: a report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center. Project updates for 2007 and 2008.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-104, 2009 Nov; :1-144
Occupational safety and health issues of nanomaterials are complex. Because engineered nanomaterials are small yet have a relatively large surface area, they may have chemical, physical, and biological properties distinctly different from larger particles of similar chemical composition. Those properties may affect the ability of the nanomaterials to reach the gas exchange regions of the lung, travel from the lung throughout the body, penetrate dermal barriers, cross cell membranes, and interact at the molecular level. The types of nanomaterials and the opportunities for workplace exposure to them continue to grow rapidly. The challenge is to effectively address the safety and health issues of nanotechnology while helping society realize nanotechnology's far-reaching potential benefits. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations to prevent work-related injury, illness, and death. NIOSH is mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act to determine whether materials in a workplace constitute any harm and to provide recommendations for preventing injury and illness. NIOSH established the Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) in 2004 to coordinate and promote research in nanotechnology and to develop guidance on the safe handling of nanomaterials in the workplace. The NTRC is a virtual center in which NIOSH scientists and engineers at geographically dispersed locations are linked by shared computer networks and other technologies. This approach surmounts the logistical complications that traditionally arise when scientists and engineers collaborating on common research are not physically in the same location. In 2007 the NTRC issued Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace (DHHS NIOSH Publication No. 2007-123). That report describes the progress of the NTRC since its inception in 2004 through 2006. This November 2009 update describes program accomplishments achieved in 2007 and 2008, and it includes summary updates from 43 intramural projects and a comprehensive extramural program. The NTRC has, with limited resources, continued to make contributions to all the steps in the continuum from hazard identification to risk management.
Occupational-safety-programs; Worker-health; Disease-prevention; Injury-prevention; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Safety-research; Chemical-properties; Physical-properties; Biological-factors; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Molecular-structure; Lung-function; Cellular-function; Cellular-reactions; Particulates; Nanotechnology
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Education and Information Division, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998
NTIS Accession No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-104
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division