Tag Archives: US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

‘Safe’ nano, a report covering US National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety activities from 2004 to 2011

The Nov. 9, 2012 news item on Nanowerk lists the report title as “Filling the Knowledge Gaps for Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace“,

In 2007 and 2009, NIOSH [US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health] published progress reports detailing the accomplishments of the NTRC [Nanotechnology Research Center], including the results of ongoing laboratory and field research and the publication of technical and other guidance documents on the safe handling of engineered nanomaterials (see Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/pubs.html).

This 2012 update presents the program accomplishments of the NTRC from its inception in 2004 through 2011. It includes an analysis of the progress made toward accomplishing the goals and objectives of the NIOSH Strategic Plan for Nanotechnology Research and toward addressing the goals and research needs identified in the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) research strategy.

The report  is approximately 400 pp. most of which are devoted to descriptions of various projects, both completed and currently underway. The actual report comes in at roughly 65 pp.  I find the cover art to be particularly interesting given my interest in data visualization,

“Filling the Knowledge Gaps for Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace” cover: A graphical representation of the reach of a highly cited NIOSH journal article specific to nanomaterials. The scatter plot illustrates the initial publication (red dot) surrounded by the number of times it was directly cited in other papers (primary citations are yellow dots) and then the number of times the primary citation papers were cited by other papers (secondary citations are white dots). This diagram was developed using Cytoscape, an open source platform for complex network analysis and visualization.

For those who don’t fancy reading the report, here’s a list of the accomplishments from the report’s Executive Summary (p. 8-9 PDF version),

Summary of NTRC Program Outputs and Impacts

Among the many program outputs and impacts, the NTRC researchers:

■ Developed some of the earliest guidance on the design and conduct of nano­toxicology studies.

■ Identified pulmonary and cardiovascular hazards of some types of carbon nano­tubes in animals.

■ Determined that the dispersion of ultrafine carbon black nanoparticles in the lungs of rats following intratracheal instillation results in an inflammatory response that is greater than agglomerated ultrafine carbon black.

■ Determined that ultrafine TiO2 or carbon black is more inflammogenic than fine TiO2 or carbon black on a mass-dose basis.

■ Developed a system to generate nanoparticle aerosols for inhalation toxico­logic studies.

■ Conducted over 40 field assessments in nanomaterial manufacturer and user facilities.

■ Produced more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications, resulting in over 5,000 primary and 82,000 secondary citations.

■ Provided over 650 invited presentations.

■ Published a framework for conducting workplace emission testing.

■ Developed innovative sampling methods for engineered nanomaterials.

■ Contributed to the development of a bio-mathematical model in rats to describe clearance, retention, and translocation of inhaled nanoparticles throughout the body.

■ Developed recommended exposure limits (RELs) for TiO2 and carbon nano­tubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs).

■ Developed interim guidance for medical screening and hazard surveillance.

■ Identified what research will be needed to ensure the health of workers han­dling nanomaterials.

■ Established formal partnerships and collaborations with private, governmen­tal and academic centers in the U.S. and globally.

■ Co-chaired the NNI Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group and contributed significantly to the development of the 2011 NEHI environmental health and safety (EHS) strategy.

■ Chaired the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials Steering Group 8 on exposure measurement and exposure mitigation for manufactured nanomaterials.

■ Provided widely used guidance on responsible development of nanotechnology.

■ Helped to establish the U.S. and international position that a precautionary approach to controlling exposures to engineered nanoparticles is warranted.

■ Have shown how responsible nanotechnology development and worker safety and health can be achieved.