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Tag Archives: NIOSH

Silver Nanoparticles: NIOSH Seeks Information and Comment

Today’s Federal Register carries a notice from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) requesting information and comments regarding silver nanoparticles. NIOSH

has initiated an evaluation of the scientific data on silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to ascertain the potential health risks to workers and to identify gaps in knowledge so that appropriate laboratory and field research studies can be conducted. . . .

. . . gathering data to determine whether a health risk to workers may exist from exposure to AgNPs and if specific risk management guidance is needed to prevent exposure. . . .  

Information is particularly needed for determining the relevance of bile duct hyperplasia and hepatocellular necrosis observed in AgNP exposed rats, as well as information on: (1) Sources of AgNP exposure, (2) factors that influence worker’s exposure, (3) in-place exposure control measures (e.g., engineering controls) and work practices that are effective in reducing worker exposures, and (4) appropriate measurement methods and exposure metrics for characterizing workplace exposures. . . .

Examples of requested information include the following:     (1) Identification of industries or occupations in which exposures to AgNPs may occur.     (2) Trends in the production and use of AgNPs.     (3) Description of work tasks and scenarios with a potential for exposure to AgNPs.     (4) Workplace exposure measurement data in various types of industries and jobs.     (5) Case reports or other health information demonstrating potential health effects in workers exposed to AgNPs.     (6) Research findings from in vitro and …

NIOSH Recommends Exposure Limit of 7 μg/m 3 for Carbon Nanotubes

This article originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

In late November, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a Current Intelligence Bulletin entitled "Occupational Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers." The document is not an official "agency determination or policy," and was released solely by NIOSH for peer-review and comment. NIOSH’s carbon nanotube recommended exposure limit (CNT REL) is set at 7 μg/m 3 for these preliminary purposes.

The old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words" is once again proved by the document’s cover image which is a remarkable "field emission micrograph of a multi-walled carbon nanotube…penetrating the pleura of the lung." The finely detailed image of a CNT penetrating a lung membrane should cause any reader to stop and closely consider the document’s recommendations.

The document begins by noting that while there are no scientific reports of "adverse health effects in workers producing or using carbon nanotubes…or carbon nanofibers," NIOSH is concerned because some studies have shown that the potential for worker exposure exists. Additionally, some in vivo studies have shown adverse reactions to carbon nanotubes in rodents — including pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis. Further, some in vitro and in vivo studies have led researchers to theorize that inhalation of certain carbon nanotubes in large doses may potentially cause asbestos-type exposure effects.

NIOSH explains that the scientific basis for its CNT REL is an extrapolation from subchronic in vivo toxicity studies …

New Edition of Nanotechnology Law Report

Here is the Summer 2009 edition of Nanotechnology Law Report.  The newsletter contains the below-listed articles (and more):

  • EPA Issues Significant New Use Rules for Carbon Nanotubes
  • Are Nanoparticles Released by Cutting or Compounding Nano-Composites?
  • Annual Nano TiO2 Production Estimated at 44,000 Metric Tons
  • Are Nano Consumer Products Headed Underground?
  • Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology
  • Regulating Nanotechnologies
  • More Interesting Nano-Regulatory Developments
  • Nano Tug of War
  • Pumpkins & Nanoparticles
  • Green Nano
  • NanoBiotech 2009
  • Take two silver nanoparticles and call me in the morning
  • International Approaches to the Regulatory Governance of Nanotechnology
  • ETUC Resolution on Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials
  • Private Spending on Nano Exceeds Government Spending
  • EMERGNANO Released

Nano Insurance Conference

Chubb Insurance is hosting a one-day nanotechnology insurance conference on October 13, 2009 in North Branch, New Jersey:

"Nanotechnology: What is the Best Safety and Risk Management Approach?" 

From the conference website:

"This conference brings together prominent nanotechnology speakers who will review nanotechnology background, health and safety, and potential insurance and liability issues. Current risk assessment and ‘best practice’ controls will be shared, helping attendees better recognize and manage potential nanotechnology risks. A nanotechnology toolkit will be provided to help attendees stay abreast of critical developments in this dynamic field."

Speakers include: Charles Geraci (NIOSH), Charles Kingdollar (General Reinsurance Corp.); John Monica (Porter Wright); Susan Berry (DRS Technologies); Ganesh Skandan (NEI Corp.); William Barr (Chubb); Erik Olsen (Chubb); and Louise Vallee (Chubb).

More from the conference website:

Emerging risks require new risk management practices. Nanotechnology applications have outpaced safety and health research. The big challenge is trying to figure out a risk management roadmap when there is a scientific and regulatory abyss with the potential for future litigation looming in the distance. Companies that delay nanotechnology innovation awaiting safety consensus or regulations risk falling behind the competition. While these tiny materials and processes are big business, many risk managers and insurance buyers haven’t fully considered potential risks to employees, consumers and the environment, resulting in workers compensation, product liability and environmental liability exposures. Company risk managers and insurance buyers would value and benefit from knowledgeable broker and agent guidance. Application and control strategies considered now may have far-reaching future implications.…

NIOSH Urges EPA to Treat All Nanoscale Materials as New Chemical Substances Under TSCA

New chemical substances that are not on EPA’s existing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)chemical inventory are subject to premanufacturing notice and approval requirements.  Many NGOs have urged EPA to treat all nanoscale materials as new chemical substances under TSCA because of potential environmental, health, and safety concerns shown in laboratory settings.  Such treatment would trigger TSCA’s premanufacturing notice and approval requirements.  This past July, EPA indicated it did not currently intend to accept this approach because it considers "new" chemicals as those that have molecular identities that are not reflected on the inventory.

 …

NIOSH Guidance For Nanotechnology Employers

By, Jaime T. Landrum:

As the impact of nanotechnology grows, more companies are considering the utilization of nanotech products and processes in the workplace. Questions regarding nanotechnology’s effect on the American worker, however, come side-by-side with these business decisions. As reported at Occupational Hazards, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is expected to issue guidance for employers facing these problems.…

NIOSH to Test Certified Respirators

The National Institute of Occupational Health and Saftety’s (NIOSH)National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) at NIOSH recently announced it intent to test currently certified repirators to determine whether they protect wearers against nanoparticle inhalation.  The NIOSH testing follows up on a University of Minnesota study pointing to the effecacy electrostatically charged filters in screening out nano-sized particles.  NPPTL also intends to conduct tests to determine whether nanoparticles will penetrate approved personal protective clothing.  Along with its announcement, NPPTL also noted that there are currently no specific exposure limits for nanoparticles, and that the decision to wear repirators is left to professional judgment. 

Inside OSHA, November 13, 2006, Vol. 13 No.23.…

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