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October 8, 2008

NIOSH Posts Update Regarding Nanotechnology Research

Lynn L. Bergeson

In an October 2, 2008, Update entitled “NIOSH Nanotechnology Research News Notes:  New Papers on PPE, Toxicity; New Partnerships, Award,” the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes two new peer-reviewed papers, two new international partnerships, and a professional award.

  • Shvedova, et al., “Inhalation Versus Aspiration of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes in C57BL/6 Mice: Inflammation, Fibrosis, Oxidative Stress and Mutagenesis” — Mice that inhaled carbon nanotubes from an aerosol suspended in the air showed the same dose-related effects as mice that were exposed in past studies through a different method, the direct aspiration of carbon nanotubes into the lung.  Effects included the formation of granulomas in the lungs of exposed mice, and lung tissue fibrosis.  Due to the lack of workplace exposure data, scientists are unable at present to predict whether workers would experience similar effects through workplace exposures, or whether the effects would signal a risk for impairment or death, either in and of themselves or as precursors to other effects.
  • Rengasamy, et al., “Filtration Performance of NIOSH-Approved N95 and P100 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Against 4 to 30 Nanometer-Size Nanoparticles” — Evaluations of NIOSH-approved N95 and P100 filtering-facepiece respirators for reducing exposures to nanometer-sized silver aerosol particles supported previous studies that found that such respirators should provide expected levels of protection against nanoparticles, when fitted, maintained, and used properly.
  • The International Alliance for NanoEHS Harmonization (IANH) — Four NIOSH researchers representing combined interdisciplinary expertise in laboratory and field studies are part of IANH, a new international research partnership.  IANH intends to establish scientific protocols to promote harmonization in the toxicological testing of nanomaterials.
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Workshop — NIOSH is leading the formation of an October 20, 2008, workshop on the assessment and mitigation of workplace exposures to nanomaterials.  During the workshop, representatives of the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials and invited outside experts will explore the latest developments, needs, and opportunities in research.
  • The Richard C. Knudson Publication Award, 2008 — The American Biological Safety Association presented this award to Vladimir V. Murashov, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the Director, NIOSH, and John Howard, M.D., former Director of NIOSH, for the paper “Biosafety, Occupational Health, and Nanotechnology.”  The award recognizes “significant contributions in areas of scientific investigation and/or health and safety.”