NIOSH recently issued interim guidance for medical screening and hazard surveillance for workers potentially exposed to engineered nanoparticles.

The NIOSH recommendations in “Current Intelligence Bulletin 60: Interim Guidance for the Medical Screening and Hazard Surveillance for Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles,” are available at www. cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2009-116

The recommendations respond to ongoing interest by employers and other stakeholders in having authoritative occupational safety and health guidance in the manufacturing and industrial use of engineered nanomaterials, according to NIOSH.

“Leaders in business, the health community, and public policy have widely agreed on the need for prudent occupational safety and health strategies in the growing nanotechnology industry,” said NIOSH Acting Director Christine M. Branche, Ph.D. “NIOSH is pleased to help provide scientific guidance for such strategies, which are integral for maintaining U.S. leadership in the global nanotechnology market.”

As interim guidance, NIOSH recommends that employers:

1) Take prudent measures to control occupational exposures to engineered nanoparticles, such as those described in an earlier NIOSH document, “Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology: An Information Exchange with NIOSH” www. cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/safenano/

2) Conduct hazard surveillance as the basis for implementing controls, including the identification of work tasks and processes that involve the production and use of engineered nanoparticles.

3) Continue use of established medical surveillance approaches to flag any increase in the frequency of adverse health effects potentially associated with occupational exposures to engineered nanoparticles.