Nanotech 2011

Significant NIOSH Activities Specific to Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers

C.L. Geraci, L. Hodson

Keywords: nanotube, hazard, exposure, risk, recommendations


Carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon nanofibers (CNF) are currently used globally in numerous industrial and biomedical applications and the number of workplaces where CNT and CNF might be encountered is growing. Currently there is a growing body of literature indicating a potential hazard from exposure to various types of CNT or CNF. There are still knowledge gaps relative to workplace exposure, risk, and risk management guidance for CNT/CNF. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) undertook a focused three-year strategy to close a number of knowledge gaps, which included generating data in the major elements of: nanotoxicology for hazard determination; dose-response risk assessment; exposure measurement methods; on-site exposure studies; risk characterization based on hazard and exposure data; exposure control techniques; and guidance for medical screening and surveillance. As a result of this focused effort, NIOSH released for public comment in December, 2010, a “Current Intelligence Bulletin on Occupational Exposure to CNT and CNF”. This document summarized the findings to date of NIOSH and includes a recommended exposure limit for CNT and CNF as well as risk management recommendations. This presentation will summarize key activities and findings and a summary of the recommendations made in the Current Intelligence Bulletin.

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