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October 7, 2021

NIOSH Highlights Its Work in Blog Item on National Nanotechnology Day

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

In honor of National Nanotechnology Day, and as part of a series for its 50th anniversary, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has posted a blog item entitled “National Nanotechnology Day: A big day for small things.” NIOSH states that it has been at the forefront of efforts to characterize the potential hazards for those working with engineered nanomaterials and to ensure safe workplaces since the early 2000s, including the creation of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center in 2004. As reported in our May 20, 2021, blog item, NIOSH published a recommended exposure limit (REL) for silver nanoparticles. NIOSH previously published RELs for nanoscale titanium dioxide and carbon nanotubes/carbon nanofibers.

According to NIOSH, companies can use the Nanomaterial Exposure Assessment Technique (NEAT 2.0) to identify the potential for exposure to a workplace engineered nanomaterial. The poster, Controlling Health Hazards When Working with Nanomaterials: Questions to Ask Before You Start “is a helpful visual resource for use in the workplace.” NIOSH states that in the past year, it has published two workplace posters: 3D Printing with Metal Powders: Health and Safety Questions to Ask and 3D Printing with Filaments: Health and Safety Questions to Ask. NIOSH notes that it also published the first paper describing an engineering control for three-dimensional (3D) printers.