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February 9, 2024

NIOSH Collaborates Globally on Workplace Safety of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On February 1, 2024, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) posted a NIOSH Science Blog item entitled “NIOSH Global Collaborations on Workplace Safety of Nanomaterials.” According to the blog item, NIOSH’s global collaboration efforts “build on the strong NIOSH [Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC)] research and guidance efforts contributing to the global technical information and guidance about protecting workers and aim to facilitate international collaborations for research and for development and dissemination of guidance and training to protect workers not only nationally, but also worldwide from the potential risks of manufactured nanomaterials.” The blog item states that NTRC has successfully engaged with a number of international entities at all levels, including:

  • At the bilateral level, NTRC communicates and collaborates with the United Kingdom (UK) Institute of Occupational Medicine and the Health and Safety Laboratory; the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research; the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES); the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health; and the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (Safe Work Australia);
  • At the multilateral level, NIOSH collaborates with major international government-level organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN) World Health Organization (WHO), the UN International Labour Organization, and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to build cooperation, coordination, and communication among governments around the world. NIOSH also works with international non-governmental organizations (NGO), such as the International Commission on Occupational Health and the International Council on Nanotechnology, on global projects of information dissemination and communication.
  • NIOSH scientists actively participated in all major international standards-setting organizations developing standards for nanotechnology safety, including the ASTM International E56 Committee on Nanotechnology and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 229 Nanotechnologies.

The blog item lists major global milestones and success indicators of the NTRC from 2005 to 2020, noting that NTRC “will continue expanding our global leadership of occupational safety and health research and guidance for nanomaterials.” NTRC will apply the experience it gained with nanomaterials to other emerging workplace hazards, such as nanoplastics and advanced materials.