On August 20, 2019, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) posted a one-pager on the Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC). NTRC conducts research to understand the potential effects on human health of exposure to engineered nanomaterials and develops methods to control or eliminate exposures. NTRC focuses on the following areas “to help industry move safely and responsibly into the future”:
- Increasing understanding of potential health risks to workers making and using nanomaterials;
- Preventing occupational exposures to nanomaterials; and
- Evaluating potential worker health risks from advanced material and manufacturing processes.
NTRC’s accomplishments include completing peer and stakeholder review of the revised draft Current Intelligence Bulletin: Health Effects from Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials. As reported in our January 25 2019, blog item, NIOSH published a document entitled Continuing to Protect the Nanotechnology Workforce: NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Plan for 2018-2025. NTRC’s future activities include:
- Publishing the final Current Intelligence Bulletin: Health Effects from Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials;
- Evaluating biomarkers of exposure and disease using proteomic, metabolomics, and bioinformatics approaches;
- Working with industry to develop practical, “real world” evaluation of hazard and risk represented by nanomaterials through their life cycles; and
- Participating in development of international standards with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 229, such as:
- Round robin testing in support of the OECD Test Guideline 110 — Particle Size Distribution/Fiber Length and Diameter Distributions;
- Identification and quantification of airborne nano-objects in a mixed dust industrial environment;
- Evaluation of methods for assessing the release of nanomaterials from commercial, nanomaterial-containing polymer composites; and
- Lung burden measurement of nanomaterials for inhalation toxicity studies.