Engineered carbonaceous nanomaterials manufacturers in the United States: workforce size, characteristics, and feasibility of epidemiologic studies.
ABSTRACT Toxicology studies suggest that carbon nanotube (CNT) exposures may cause adverse pulmonary effects. This study identified all US engineered carbonaceous nanomaterial (ECN) manufacturers, determined workforce size and growth, and characterized the materials produced to determine the feasibility of occupational ECN exposure studies.
Eligible companies were identified; information was assembled on the companies and nanomaterials they produced; and the workforce size, location, and growth were estimated.
Sixty-one companies manufacturing ECN in the United States were identified. These companies employed at least 620 workers; workforce growth was projected at 15% to 17% annually. Most companies produced or used CNT. Half the eligible companies provided information about material dimensions, quantities, synthesis methods, and worker exposure reduction strategies.
Industrywide exposure assessment studies appear feasible; however, cohort studies are likely infeasible because of the small, scattered workforce.
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ABSTRACT: Given their remarkable properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have made their way through various industrial and medicinal applications and the overall production of CNTs is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, thus requiring an additional recruitment of workers. However, their unique applications and desirable properties are fraught with concerns regarding occupational exposure. The concern about worker exposure to CNTs arises from the results of recent animal studies. Short-term and sub-chronic exposure studies in rodents have shown consistent adverse health effects such as pulmonary inflammation, granulomas, fibrosis, genotoxicity and mesothelioma after inhalation or instillation of several types of CNTs. Furthermore, physicochemical properties of CNTs such as dispersion, functionalization and particle size can significantly affect their pulmonary toxicity. Risk estimates from animal studies necessitate implementation of protective measures to limit worker exposure to CNTs. Information on workplace exposure is very limited, however, studies have reported that CNTs can be aerosolized and attain respirable airborne levels during synthesis and processing activities in the workplace. Quantitative risk assessments from sub-chronic animal studies recommend the health-based need to reduce exposures below the recommended exposure limit of 1 μg/m3. Practice of prevention measures including the use of engineering controls, personal protective equipment, health surveillance program, safe handling and use, as well as worker training can significantly minimize worker exposure and improve worker health and safety.
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ABSTRACT: Despite the lack of data on the human health potential risks related to the engineered nanomaterials (ENM) exposure, ENM handling spreads in industry. The French government officially charged the InVS to develop an epidemiological surveillance of workers occupationally exposed to ENM. An initial surveillance plan was proposed on the basis of literature review and discussions with national and international ENM and occupational safety and health (OSH) experts. In site investigations and technical visits were then carried out to build an adequate surveillance system and to assess its feasibility. The current plan consists of a multi-step methodology where exposure registry construction is paramount. Workers potentially exposed to carbon nanotubes (CNT) or nanometric titanium dioxide (TiO2) will be identified using a 3-level approach: 1-identification and selection of companies concerned with ENM exposure (based on compulsory declaration and questionnaires), 2-in site exposure assessment and identification of the jobs/tasks with ENM exposure (based on job-expose matrix, further supplemented with measurements), and 3-identification of workers concerned. Data of interest will be collected by questionnaire. Companies and workers inclusion questionnaires are designed and currently under validation. This registration is at the moment planned for three years but could be extended and include other ENM. A prospective cohort study will be established from this registry, to pursue surveillance objectives and serve as an infrastructure for performing epidemiological and panel studies with specific research objectives.Journal of Physics Conference Series 04/2013; 429(1):2066-. DOI:10.1088/1742-6596/429/1/012066
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ABSTRACT: Background The novel physicochemical properties of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) make them very attractive for industrial and biomedical purposes, but concerns have been raised regarding unpredictable adverse health effects in humans. Current evidence for the risk posed by ENPs to exposed workers is the subject of this review. Aims To perform an in-depth review of the state of art of nanoparticle exposure at work. Methods Original articles and reviews in Pubmed and in principal databases of medical literature up to 2013 were included in the analysis. In addition, grey literature released by qualified regulatory agencies and by governmental and non-governmental organizations was also taken into consideration. Results There are significant knowledge and technical gaps to be filled for a reliable evaluation of the risk posed for workers by ENPs. Evidence for potential workplace release of ENPs however seems substantial, and the amount of exposure may exceed the proposed occupational exposure limits (OELs). The rational use of conventional engineering measures and of protective personal equipment seems to mitigate the risk. Conclusions A precautionary approach is recommended for workplace exposure to ENPs, until health-based OELs are developed and released by official regulatory agencies.Occupational Medicine 07/2014; 64(5):319-330. DOI:10.1093/occmed/kqu051 · 1.47 Impact Factor