Posted: December 14, 2007
NIOSH issues guidance on nanotechnology exposure of medical workers
(Nanowerk News) NIOSH issued an interim nanotechnology guidance today that deals with the issue of possibly screening medical workers that are potentially exposed to engineered nanoparticles in the manufacture and industrial use of nanomaterials.
This document for public review and comment is titled "Interim Guidance on Medical Screening of Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles Docket" (pdf download, 111 KB).
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIOSH, CDC) is conducting a public review of the NIOSH document entitled Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB): Interim Guidance on Medical Screening of Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles. This document has been determined by NIOSH to be a Significant Guidance document in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines under the Federal Data Quality Act 2000 (Public Law 106-554, Section 1(a)(3)[515]).This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law. The overall goal of the review is to enhance the quality and credibility of Agency recommendations by ensuring that the scientific and technical work underlying these recommendations receives appropriate review by independent scientific and technical experts.
The draft CIB was developed to address concerns about whether workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles will be at increased risk of adverse health effects and whether medical screening or some other type of occupational health surveillance is appropriate for these workers. Although increasing evidence indicates that exposure to some engineered nanoparticles can cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals, insufficient medical evidence exists at this time to recommend the specific medical screening of workers potentially exposed to engineered nanoparticles.
Charge to Peer Reviewers
The peer review charge was developed in accordance with OMB guidelines, is consistent with NIOSH peer review practice, and is meant to ensure that credible and appropriate science is used in the development of its recommendations on the medical screening for workers exposed to nanoparticles.
The objectives of this document are to describe (1) the scientific evidence relevant to exposure to engineered nanoparticles, (2) the elements of an occupational medical screening program, and (3) the overall aspects of a good health surveillance program in identifying and preventing exposure to potential hazards. The charge to the Peer Reviewers is to review the document to determine whether
  • the hazard identification is a reasonable reflection of the available scientific studies,
  • the discussion of occupational health surveillance including medical screening is consistent with sound occupational health practice, and
  • the conclusions that form the basis of the recommendations are appropriate.
  • To facilitate review of this Current Intelligence Bulletin, the five questions below should be considered:
    1. Do the data cited support the conclusions of the document?
    2. Are the conclusions appropriate in light of the current understanding of the toxicological data?
    3. Is medical surveillance appropriate at this time for workers with potential exposure to engineered nanoparticles; if so, what form(s) of medical surveillance are specific for such workers?
    4. What are the potential benefits, adverse impacts, and limitations of medical screening of workers potentially exposed to engineered nanoparticles?
    5. What are the potential benefits, adverse impacts, and limitations of establishing an exposure registry for workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles?
    The Peer Reviewers will be provided all substantive public comments received in the NIOSH Docket Office by February 15, 2008.
    Public Meeting
    A public meeting will be held on January 30, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Robert A. Taft Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a forum for scientists and representatives of government agencies, industry, labor, and other stakeholders to discuss the document. The meeting will be open to the public, limited only by space available. Due to limited space and security clearance requirements, notification of intent to attend the meeting must be made to the NIOSH Docket Office no later than Friday, January 18, 2008. Persons wanting to provide oral comments at the meeting are requested to notify the NIOSH Docket Office no later than January 11, 2008 at 513/533-8611 or by email at Priority for attendance will be given to those providing oral comments. Other requests to attend the meeting will then be accommodated on a first-come basis. Unreserved walk-in attendees will not be admitted due to security clearance requirements.
    Time Frame for Review
    Written comments on the document will be accepted from December 14, 2007 through February 15, 2008. Written comments can be submitted at the Public Meeting or sent to the NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS C-34, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226. All material submitted to the Agency should reference docket number NIOSH-115. All electronic comments should be formatted as Microsoft Word and make reference to docket number NIOSH-115.
    Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. ET on February 15, 2008
    To submit comments regarding this draft publication, please use one of these options:
  • Send NIOSH comments using this online form
  • Send comments by email (
  • Fax comments to the NIOSH Docket Office: 513-533-8285
  • Send by Mail to: NIOSH Mailstop: C-34, Robert A. Taft Lab, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226