The National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today issued an updated and expanded
edition of its document, "Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology." The
updated document reiterates NIOSH's standing interim recommendation that employers
take prudent measures to control occupational exposures in the manufacture and
industrial use of engineered nanomaterials, as research advances for determining
if such materials pose work-related health and safety risks.
The new document, which is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2009-125/, reflects
new scientific findings from ongoing research that have been published in the
peer-reviewed scientific literature since the last revised draft version of
"Approaches" was issued in 2006. These include findings from NIOSH’s
own strategic research program, as well as research by scientific partners from
the U.S. and abroad.
The revised document:
Includes an expanded section on risk management, with a detailed discussion
of factors that may affect occupational exposure to engineered nanomaterials,
and expanded interim recommendations for controlling work-related exposures.
Expands the discussion of exposure assessment and characterization for engineered
nanomaterials, including a new summary table of instruments and measurement
methods used in the evaluation of nanomaterial exposures.
Is issued as a NIOSH numbered document, so that it can be cited more easily
as a resource in peer-reviewed scientific publications. The original draft version
in 2004 and the previous revised draft edition in 2006 were web-based electronic
documents that did not have a formal NIOSH publication number.
"Health and safety practitioners and business observers have agreed that
robust scientific research and authoritative, science-based recommendations
are vital for the responsible development and growth of nanotechnology,"
said NIOSH Acting Director Christine M. Branche, Ph.D. "NIOSH is pleased
to issue the updated 'Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology' to provide ongoing
interim guidance, reflect the astonishing advance of complex research in this
area, and engage public review and comment."
More information about NIOSH’s strategic research program on the occupational
health and safety implications and applications of nanotechnology can be found
at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/. NIOSH’s collaborative research
addresses critical gaps in information needed for risk assessment in this emerging
field. These include current gaps in information on ways in which workers may
be exposed, ways for characterizing and measuring exposures, and potential effects
of exposure. NIOSH’s research and interim recommendations have been widely
cited in the U.S. and abroad.