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April 10, 2009

NIOSH Requests Data on CNTs

Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 8, 2009, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a Federal Register notice announcing that it “intends to evaluate the scientific data on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and develop appropriate communication documents, such as an Alert and/or Current Intelligence Bulletin [CIB], which will convey the potential health risks and recommend measures for the safe handling of these materials.” CIBs are issued by NIOSH “to disseminate new scientific information about occupational hazards. A CIB may draw attention to a previously unrecognized hazard, report new data on a known hazard, or disseminate information on hazard control.”

According to the notice, NIOSH has developed guidelines for managing the potential health concerns associated with occupational exposures to engineered nanoparticles, which “will provide the framework for developing specific recommendations for CNTs.” Comments are due May 15, 2009.

NIOSH is requesting the following information:

  1. Published and unpublished reports and findings from in vitro and in vivo toxicity studies with CNTs;
  2. Information on possible health effects observed in workers exposed to CNTs;
  3. Information on workplaces and products in which CNTs can be found;
  4. Description of work tasks and scenarios with a potential for exposure;
  5. Workplace exposure data; and
  6. Information on control measures (e.g., engineering controls, work practices, personal protective equipment) that are being used in workplaces where potential exposures to CNTs occur.