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NIOSH Sets Oct. 30 Meeting on Silver Nanomaterials Draft Document

NIOSH recently published a draft document for public comment on the health effects caused by occupational exposure to silver nanomaterials, and the agency now will be holding a public online meeting about it on Oct. 30. The document is titled "Current Intelligence Bulletin: Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials," and written comments on it are due by Nov. 30.

To comment or view the document and related materials, visit and search for CDC-2016-0001.

The public online meeting will take place from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, or until the last public commenter has spoken, whichever occurs first. It will be a web-based event available only by remote access. Members of the public who wish to provide public comments should plan to log in to the meeting at the start time listed; those who register with the NIOSH Docket Office, [email protected], to attend the public meeting will be provided login information prior to the meeting. Anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to register by Oct. 23.

NIOSH's notice said the revised draft document provides an updated scientific literature review of information about occupational exposure to silver nanomaterials, including studies on the toxicological effects of exposure to silver nanomaterials in experimental animal and cellular systems, the effect of particle size and other properties on the toxicological effects of silver, and NIOSH recommendations on the measurement and control of occupational exposures to silver and silver nanomaterials. Studies in animals have shown adverse lung and liver effects associated with exposure to silver nanoparticles, and based on an assessment of the data, NIOSH developed a new draft recommended exposure limit for silver nanomaterials that applies to processes that produce or use silver nanomaterials. The agency continues to recommend its existing REL for total silver (metal dust and soluble compounds).

According to the notice, special emphasis will be placed on discussion of several questions for reviewers, including these:

  • Does the draft document accurately identify and characterize the health hazards of exposures to silver and silver nanomaterials based on the available scientific literature?
  • Are the risk assessment and dosimetry modeling methods presented in the draft document consistent with current scientific knowledge and practice?
  • Is the proposed recommended exposure limit (REL) well-supported by the scientific data presented in the document?
  • Are the sampling and analytical methods proposed for silver nanomaterials adequate to measure worker exposure?
  • Are the recommended strategies for controlling exposure to silver and silver nanomaterials (e.g., engineering controls, work practices, personal protective equipment) reasonable?
  • Are the important data gaps and future research needs complete and clearly described?

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