ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology is predicted to improve many aspects of human life. By 2015, it is estimated to represent $3.1trillion in
manufactured goods. Data is emerging that exposure to nanomaterials may pose a health risk to workers. If the economic promise
of nanotechnology is to be achieved, ways need to be found to protect nanotechnology workers now. The Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970 (OSHAct) gave the responsibility to protect workers to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) through research, standards adoption, and standards
enforcement. Since 1980, adopting new occupational health standards has grown more complex. The increased complexity has greatly
slowed efforts to adopt protective standards for toxic agents that are well-known to pose significant risks. The likelihood
of rapidly adopting standards to protect workers from nanomaterials, whose risks are just emerging, seems even more unlikely.
Use of the OSHAct’s general duty clause to protect workers also seems uncertain at this time. In the interim, a national partnership
led by NIOSH involving nanotech manufacturers and downstream users, workers, academic researchers, safety, and health practitioners
is proposed. A National Nanotechnology Partnership would generate knowledge about the nature and the extent of worker risk,
utilize that knowledge to develop risk control strategies to protect nanotechnology workers now, and provide an evidence base
for NIOSH recommendations to OSHA for a nanotechnology program standard at a future date.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research 04/2012; 11(7):1673-1683. · 3.29 Impact Factor
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 01/2012; 9(1):D12-22. · 1.19 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: A number of reports have been published regarding the applicability of existing regulatory frameworks to protect consumers and the environment from potentially adverse effects related to introduction of nanomaterials into commerce in the United States and the European Union. However, a detailed comparison of the regulatory approaches to worker safety and health in the USA and in the EU is lacking. This report aims to fill this gap by reviewing regulatory frameworks designed to protect workers and their possible application to nanotechnology.
Industrial Health 03/2011; 49(3):280-96. · 0.94 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Health and safety standards aim at minimizing risk to people and the environment. Often, though, there is a significant time
lag between the emergence of any new technology and the generation of sufficient risk information to allow a thorough risk
assessment and to write a traditional regulatory quantitative risk management standard . In the early twenty-first century,
this time lag is leading society to aim to proactively manage the risks of emerging technologies like nanotechnology .
Proactive risk management can serve as an initial response to a new technology and later can lead to traditional regulatory
standards that are based on lengthy risk assessment data collection. Proactive risk management should include, at a minimum,
the following essential features (1) qualitative – as opposed to quantitative – risk assessment; (2) strategies to quickly
adapt to accumulating risk information as it develops and to refine any risk management recommendations; (3) recommendations
based on a level of precaution that is appropriate to ensure no material impairment of human or environmental health occurs
from exposure to the new technology; (4) steps that are equivalent across the spectrum of global emerging technology firms;
and (5) robust stakeholder involvement that can lead to widespread voluntary cooperation between firms . These features
of proactive risk management are particularly applicable for the development of health and safety standards for the rapidly
emerging field of nanotechnology.
01/2011: pages 209-238;
ABSTRACT: As more is learned about genetic susceptibility to occupational and environmental hazards, there will be increasing pressure to use genetic susceptibility information in setting occupational health standards. Historically, this has not been done, but a growing body of research assesses inherited genetic factors as modifiers of the effects of hazardous exposures. Additionally, acquired genetic and epigenetic characteristics could also be used in standard setting. However, for both inherited and acquired genetic characteristics, many scientific, ethical, legal, and social issues could arise. Investigators need to examine the potential role and implications of using genetic information in standard setting. In this review, we focus primarily on inherited genetic factors and their role in occupational health standard setting.
Annual Review of Public Health 03/2010; 32:149-59. · 5.45 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We propose a proactive approach to the management of occupational health risks in emerging technologies based on six features: qualitative risk assessment; the ability to adapt strategies and refine requirements; an appropriate level of precaution; global applicability; the ability to elicit voluntary cooperation by companies; and stakeholder involvement.
Nature Nanotechnology 09/2009; 4(8):467-70. · 27.27 Impact Factor
Nature Nanotechnology 12/2008; 3(11):635-6. · 27.27 Impact Factor