Category: Nanotechnology

Understanding the Broad Class of Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers (CNT/F) Used or Produced in U.S. Facilities

  Engineered nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and nanofibers (CNT/F), hold great promise for society by revolutionizing many industries with applications from medicine to manufactured composites. The properties that make them so promising may also have the potential to cause harm to people if inhaled. Understanding potential health effects, conducting field exposure studies, and developing Read More >

Posted on by Aaron Erdely, Ph.D.; Kelly Fraser; Vamsi Kodali Ph.D.; Charles Geraci, Ph.D., CIH, FAIHA; Matthew Dahm, PhD, MPH; and Mary K. Schubauer-Berigan, PhD2 Comments

Are There Nano- and Microplastics in the Workplace?

The growing problem of plastic pollution in the environment is receiving an increasing amount of attention (see article in Nature). Small particles of plastics are often referred to as microplastics (plastic particles smaller than 5 mm [1]) and nanoplastics (the nanoscale fraction of plastic particles). Nano- and microplastic particles (NMPPs) can be formed through environmental Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD; Charles L. Geraci, Jr., PhD, CIH, FAIHA ; Paul Schulte, PhD; and John Howard, MD7 Comments

Nanotechnology Research at NIOSH

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are materials that are intentionally produced to have at least one primary dimension less than 100 nanometers. These materials have new or unique properties different from those of larger forms of the same material, making them desirable for specific product applications. These properties can contribute to increased elasticity, tensile strength, electrical conduction, and reactivity. Consumer products using nanomaterials include Read More >

Posted on by Adrienne Eastlake, MS, RS/REHS, MT (ASCP) and John P. Sadowski, Ph.D.Leave a comment

WHO Guidelines to Protect Workers from Nanomaterials

Introduction from NIOSH Director, John Howard, MD The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been at the forefront of research on working safely with nanomaterials. NIOSH leads the U.S. federal government health and safety initiative for nanotechnology coordinating research and activities through the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) established in 2004. The Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD, and Vladimir Murashov, PhD 4 Comments

The Art and Science of OELs for Nanomaterials

This guest blog post from our Finnish colleagues summarizes the challenges of identifying OELs for new nanomaterials as part of the development of a WHO guideline for working safely with nanomaterials.   Engineered nanomaterials are fascinating. Just by making stuff smaller researchers have discovered forms of materials and even completely new materials that can be Read More >

Posted on by Jos Verbeek and Raluca Mihalache 9 Comments

Occupational Health Issues in the USA

Happy New Year. As we start afresh in 2017 I wanted to share my recent editorial in the British journal, Occupational Medicine, “Occupational health issues in the USA”.  The article highlights some of the occupational safety and health issues identified as needing attention by the industry sector groups of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).  Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD10 Comments

Never fear! NEAT 2.0 is here! – How to perform nanomaterial exposure assessment in the workplace

Do you think you might have exposure to nanomaterials in your workplace? Never fear! NEAT 2.0 is here! Engineered nanoparticles are unique. They are generally smaller than both red blood cells and viruses, don’t weigh much, and have a great amount of surface area proportionate to their size. These particles are increasingly used in a Read More >

Posted on by Lt. Adrienne Eastlake, MS, RS/REHSLeave a comment

Nickel Nanoparticles: A Case of Sensitization Associated with Occupational Exposure

  In an article published online May 8, 2014 by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, researchers W. Shane Journeay, Ph.D., M.D., and Rose H. Goldman, M.D., MPH, report the case of a worker who developed sensitization to nickel when working with nickel nanoparticle powder. According to the details of the case presented by Journeay and Read More >

Posted on by Charles L Geraci, PhD; Paul Schulte, PhD; Vladimir Murashov, PhD2 Comments

Workers Memorial Day 2014

Workers Memorial Day, April 28, reminds us that every death, injury, or illness on the job represents a human tragedy.  Behind each statistic is the loss of a loved one’s life, the diminution or loss of a father’s or mother’s ability to provide for family needs, or a medical crisis that can have lifelong consequences. Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, M.D.1 Comment

Controlling Exposures to Workers Who Make or Use Nanomaterials

  Background It is difficult to estimate how many workers are involved in this field. By one estimate, there are 400,000 workers worldwide in the field of nanotechnology, with an estimated 150,000 of those in the United States [Roco et al. 2010]. The National Science Foundation has estimated that approximately 6 million workers will be Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer L. Topmiller, MS; Kevin H. Dunn, Sc.D., CIH 5 Comments

New Findings on Lung Tumor Formation in Laboratory Mice Exposed to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Earlier today, at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, NIOSH researchers reported preliminary findings from a new laboratory study in which mice were exposed by inhalation to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT).  The study was designed to investigate whether these tiny particles have potential to initiate or promote cancer.  By “initiate,” we mean the Read More >

Posted on by Vincent Castranova, PhD; Charles L Geraci, PhD; Paul Schulte, PhD11 Comments

Safe Handling of Advanced Nanomaterials

In the last five years, research and development activities in the field of nanotechnology have shifted to include advanced nanomaterials. The main feature of advanced nanomaterials that distinguishes them from simpler nanomaterials, such as carbon black and nanoscale TiO2 used primarily as additives, is the ability of advanced nanomaterials to change or evolve properties during Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD; Paul Schulte, PhD; John Howard, MD5 Comments

Respiratory Protection for Workers Handling Engineered Nanoparticles

Are current NIOSH-approved respirators protective against engineered nanoparticles? Find out and read about current research and recommendations for the use and selection of respirators against engineered nanoparticles on the NIOSH Science Blog.  Read More >

Posted on by Ziqing Zhuang, PhD, and Dennis Viscusi33 Comments

Pleuropulmonary disease in a polyacrylate facility

Recent reports from India implicate dusts created by grinding polyacrylate polymer as an emerging occupational respiratory hazard causing interstitial lung disease and pneumothorax.  Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD, Charles L Geraci, PhD, and David Weissman, MD4 Comments

Titanium Dioxide: A Changing Paradigm in Occupational Risk Management

A recently released NIOSH guidance document on handling titanium dioxide (TiO2) powders in the workplace is possibly the first to recommend separate occupational exposure limits for the same material based on particle size. This document reflects increasing attention to evaluating and mitigating risks of emerging hazards in the workplace before adverse health effects occur in workers. Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD12 Comments

Occupational Disease and Nanoparticles

In the September issue of the European Respiratory Journal, the first medical case series of workers with serious disease that the study authors associate with exposure to nano-sized particles has been published. Investigators Y. Song, X. Li, and X Du of the Chaoyang Hospital of the Capital University of Medical Sciences in Beijing, China, report on a series of seven previously healthy young women who developed serious heart and lung disease after working at a print plant exposed to a chemical "paste" mixture containing undefined "nanoparticles" of approximately 30 nanometers in diameter. Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD, Charles L. Geraci, PhD, CIH, and Paul Schulte, PhD10 CommentsTags

Nanotechnology: Human and Environmental Exposure Assessment of Nanomaterials Workshop

Because of the relative newness of nanotechnology, very little exposure data have been reported in the scientific literature. At this stage, measuring or determining risk becomes a little like trying to solve a mystery when major clues are missing. Scientists and engineers face this challenge even as the market for nanotechnology grows, and along with it, an increasing demand from diverse parties for guidance to underpin its responsible development. Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir V. Murashov, PhD1 CommentTags ,

Persistent Pulmonary Fibrosis, Migration to the Pleura, and Other Preliminary New Findings after Subchronic Exposure to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are a type of engineered nanomaterial that shows promise for creating stronger, more durable building materials; improving cancer therapies; creating more efficient means of energy generation, storage, and transmission; and speeding computer processes. However, as with other types of engineered nanomaterials, the potential occupational health implications of MWNCTs are not well understood at this emergent stage of the technology. Read More >

Posted on by Vincent Castranova, PhD, Ann Hubbs, PhD, Dale Porter, PhD, and Robert Mercer, PhD25 CommentsTags

Nanotechnology: Should carbon nanotubes be handled in the workplace like asbestos?

Do the nanoparticles used in nanotechnology pose unintended risks of illness or injury for workers employed in the industry? The NIOSH Science Blog looks at one nanomaterial—carbon nanotubes—and discusses new research findings about their similarities to asbestos and how they should be handled in the workplace to protect workers. Read More >

Posted on by Administrator26 CommentsTags