Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series
Presentation Date: June 12, 2019
Charles Geraci, PhD, CIH, FAIHA – NIOSH
Advances in material science and manufacturing technology have combined to give us a vision of 21st Century Manufacturing, also known as Industry 4.0. The use of advanced materials in manufacturing that are more active, more efficient, and more versatile is rapidly rising. Many of the advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing, 3D printing, synthetic biology, and digital supply chain interface will change the way manufacturing is done in the U.S. How does the Industrial Hygienist keep up with the issues of potential health hazards of these materials, the extent of worker exposure, and managing any potential risks? It will definitely be challenging to keep pace with the changes in processes, the continued introduction of new and more active materials, work organization issues, and the changing face of the workplace and the workforce. The new Advanced Manufacturing Program at NIOSH will leverage much of the knowledge and successes gained in nanotechnology and carry them over into the research needed to develop effective guidance for the safe and responsible development and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies. Research collaborations across NIOSH and with key extramural partners will be critical as this new initiative evolves to address one of the major elements of the Future of Work.
Nicole M. Neu-Baker, MPH, CPH – SUNY Polytechnic Institute
The State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute, Colleges of Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE) has collaborated with NIOSH since 2010. This successful partnership has allowed the two institutions to align resources, research efforts, and expertise in order to advance research and guidance for occupational safety and health in nanotechnology. SUNY Polytechnic Institute is a globally recognized high-tech educational system, with billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners. Of particular importance, SUNY Polytechnic Institute is highly integrated with the semiconductor industry, with 140,000ft2 of 300mm wafer cleanrooms for research and development, providing researchers ready access to a worker cohort for occupational health and safety research. A NIOSH Field Studies Team site evaluation at CNSE in 2011 launched several years of intensive exposure assessments with semiconductor workers who handle engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). Other joint efforts between the two institutions include hosting the 2012 Prevention through Design Conference at CNSE and numerous peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Most notably, this partnership has resulted in two Interagency Personnel Assignments (assignee: N.M. Neu-Baker). The first assignment, from 2014-2018, focused on developing and evaluating new identification and characterization methods for ENMs found in the workplace, using enhanced darkfield microscopy and hyperspectral imaging. The second assignment, since 2018, includes compiling and summarizing NIOSH Field Studies Team data from historical nano-specific exposure assessments for publication in peer-reviewed journals, as well as the evaluation of the suitability of existing global regulatory, non-regulatory, and other nano-specific models for occupational exposure assessment of manufactured nanomaterials. As advanced materials and technologies are increasingly incorporated into manufacturing processes and consumer products, this partnership will continue to advance the state of the science and provide recommendations and guidance to protect worker health and safety.