Death on a movie set, a nanotechnology research update and prison time for a roofing contractor after an employee’s fatal fall. These were among the top occupational safety and health stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Animal data has hinted that nanoparticles can hop the barriers from in the lungs to ride in the bloodstream. But researchers didn't know if that applied to humans. For a new study, researchers recruited 14 healthy male volunteers to breathe in gold nanoparticles of varying sizes for two hours in a chamber where they also did moderate exercise on a stationary bike.
Air pollution is a big killer. Researchers estimate that smog—particularly the tiniest particles in the mix—contributes to the early deaths of up to seven million people worldwide each year. Harm to fog-filled lungs is an obvious concern, yet air pollution is notably linked to cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and stroke.
After evaluating the available scientific evidence, NIOSH has determined that it is insufficient to support developing a size-specific recommended exposure limit (REL) for silver nanomaterials. In the absence of information to support a size-specific REL, worker exposures to silver dust, fume, and soluble compounds should be maintained below the NIOSH REL of 10 µg/m3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average.
A report published by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that inhalation of nanomaterials is the exposure route that provides the most significant health effects to consumers and others.
The American Journal of Industrial Medicine recently reported online a “game changing” Harvard-based report by Dr. Shane Journeay and Dr. Rose Goldman in the field of nanotechnology - toxicology. The study is the first reported or published case in North America of a worker handling nanoparticles in a U.S. manufacturing facility and developing serious health effects.
Prominent at this year’s AIHce were seminars and workshops reflecting the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA biennial membership survey listing top public policy issues of concern to AIHA members and the occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) profession over the next two years.