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Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: A Report from the Niosh Nanotechnology Research Center

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As with any new technology, the earliest and most extensive exposures to engineered nanoparticles are most likely to occur in the workplace among the workers who produce and use nanoparticles. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is mandated by law to conduct research and develop guidance on worker safety and health. NIOSH and its partners in o As with any new technology, the earliest and most extensive exposures to engineered nanoparticles are most likely to occur in the workplace among the workers who produce and use nanoparticles. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is mandated by law to conduct research and develop guidance on worker safety and health. NIOSH and its partners in other government agencies, countries, academia, industry, labor, and nongovernmental organizations have been conducting research and developing guidance to address the occupational safety and health of workers exposed to nanomaterials. In February 2007, NIOSH issued its report on Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace. That report described the progress of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) since its inception in 2004 through 2006. In this November 2009 update, we describe program accomplishments achieved in 2007 and 2008. The NTRC has, with limited resources, continued to make contributions to all the steps in the continuum from hazard identification to risk management. Occupational safety and health issues of nanotechnology are complex. The types of nanomaterials and the opportunities for workplace exposure continue to grow rapidly. The challenge is to effectively address the safety and health issues of nanotechnology while helping society realize the far-reaching potential benefits. NIOSH will continue to respond to this challenge.


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As with any new technology, the earliest and most extensive exposures to engineered nanoparticles are most likely to occur in the workplace among the workers who produce and use nanoparticles. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is mandated by law to conduct research and develop guidance on worker safety and health. NIOSH and its partners in o As with any new technology, the earliest and most extensive exposures to engineered nanoparticles are most likely to occur in the workplace among the workers who produce and use nanoparticles. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is mandated by law to conduct research and develop guidance on worker safety and health. NIOSH and its partners in other government agencies, countries, academia, industry, labor, and nongovernmental organizations have been conducting research and developing guidance to address the occupational safety and health of workers exposed to nanomaterials. In February 2007, NIOSH issued its report on Progress Toward Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace. That report described the progress of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) since its inception in 2004 through 2006. In this November 2009 update, we describe program accomplishments achieved in 2007 and 2008. The NTRC has, with limited resources, continued to make contributions to all the steps in the continuum from hazard identification to risk management. Occupational safety and health issues of nanotechnology are complex. The types of nanomaterials and the opportunities for workplace exposure continue to grow rapidly. The challenge is to effectively address the safety and health issues of nanotechnology while helping society realize the far-reaching potential benefits. NIOSH will continue to respond to this challenge.

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