A roundtable discussion Monday morning at the AIHce tackles the subject, “Big Legal and Business Issues in the Small World of Nanotechnology.” Also Monday morning, the Henry F. Smyth, Jr. Award Lecture focuses on “The Challenge of Setting Occupational Exposure Limits for Engineered Nanomaterials.”

On April 18, 2016, the Silver Nanotechnology Working Group (SNWG) submitted comments on the NIOSH draft NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin:  Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials. According to the draft CIB, “[a]lthough the experimental animal and cellular studies are useful for showing potential risks from exposure to silver nanomaterials, NIOSH considers the currently available data to be too limited to develop a [recommended exposure limit (REL)] for silver that is specific to particle size.”  

Instead, NIOSH recommends that effective risk management control practices be implemented so that worker exposures to silver nanomaterials do not exceed the NIOSH REL of ten micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) (eight-hour time-weighted average) for silver metal dust, fume, and soluble compounds, measured as a total airborne mass concentration. 

Regarding research needs in draft CIB, the SNWG states that one of its functions is to identify, gather, and consolidate industry data in an anonymous manner to protect confidential business information. If NIOSH needs such a mechanism to obtain any needed data, the SNWG has offered to serve in such a capacity.