In order to evaluate the possible health risks of occupational exposure to carbon nanotubes, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently published a notice in the federal register requesting the submission of the following types of information from the public regarding carbon nanotubes:
- Data from published and unpublished in vitro and in vivo toxicity studies;
- Information regarding possible adverse health effects observed in workers exposed to carbon nanotubes;
- Identification of workplaces using carbon nanotubes and information regarding potential exposure scenarios, exposure data, and exposure control measures used in such locations; and
- Identification of products containing carbon nanotubes.
NIOSH notes that “[e]stimates of the number of workers potentially exposed to [carbon nanotubes] are unavailable due to limited exposure data and its relatively recent introduction into domestic commerce. The toxic nature of [single-walled carbon nanotubes] and [multi-walled carbon nanotubes] in humans is not known.”