NIOSH Updates Nano Planning Through 2012

NIOSH posted on March 5 an updated version of its strategic plan for reseach in nanotechnology through the year 2012. The agency is accepting public comments on the document (Research Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research: Filling the Knowledge Gaps, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/strat_plan.html) until June 1. It also will be peer reviewed by the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors.

The update reflects scientific developments in research since 2005, when the plan was first NIOSH said its research has four goals: 1) determine whether nanoparticles and nanomaterials pose risks for work-related injuries and illnesses, 2) prevent work-related injuries through the application of new nanotechnology-influenced products including filter media, coatings for apparel, fire retardants, protective screens to prevent roof falls, catalysts for emissions reductions, and more, 3) promote healthy workplaces through interventions, recommendations, and capacity-building, and 4) enhance global workplace safety and health through national and international collaborations on nanotechnology research and guidance.

The NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) is the centerpiece of the agency's work in the field. NRTC has identified 10 critical research areas that will be used to address the four goals, according to the plan's executive summary: exposure assessment, toxicity and internal dose, epidemiology and surveillance, risk assessment, measurement methods, engineering controls and PPE, fire and explosion safety, recommendations and guidance, communication and information, and applications.

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