The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a blog post titled “NIOSH News for National Nanotechnology Day!” October 6, 2022. In honor of National Nanotechnology Day, October 9, the article summarizes NIOSH’s work in the area of engineered nanomaterials, including the nanomaterial exposure assessment technique of the NIOSH (NEAT 2.0), which can be used to identify the potential for exposure to engineered nanomaterials in the workplace. According to NIOSH, the sampling strategy includes the following important steps:
- Collect basic workplace information: workflow, number of workers, tasks performed, materials used, and other indicators of potential exposure;
- Design and implement the sampling plan: Sampling based on an integrated filter based on tasks, direct reading instruments and evaluation of engineering controls;
- Risk Assessment: Assess background and engineering control data; use the hierarchy of controls to develop strategies to mitigate potential exposure; and communicate potential risks; and
- Risk management: Confirm ongoing risk control by performing additional measures, if necessary.
NIOSH states that by performing these steps, a comprehensive exposure assessment can be performed to aid in the identification of potential exposures to nanomaterials in an occupational setting. By determining the potential for exposure, the establishment can then work to control the exposure using mitigation strategies and the hierarchy of controls.
NIOSH also reports the results of an online survey of 45 companies in the United States and Canada that manufacture, manufacture, handle, dispose of, or otherwise use nanomaterials. The survey included questions about the nanomaterials used and the overall workplace health and safety culture in companies, as well as whether companies interacted with NIOSH or used NIOSH resources to inform their health practices and policies. and security. According to NIOSH, more than a third of 45 respondents reported using at least one NIOSH resource for information on safe handling of nanomaterials, although larger companies were more likely to report using NIOSH resources. NIOSH states that “[w]Although the survey was limited by the small sample size, it provided valuable insights, including that future NIOSH outreach activities should specifically target small businesses that use or handle nanomaterials.