AIHA Comments on NIOSH's Nanotechnology Strategic Plan

Posted March 27, 2013

AIHA® recently submitted comments to NIOSH on the agency’s nanotechnology research and guidance strategic plan for 2013–2016. NIOSH requested comments on the types of hazard identification and risk management research that it should consider while updating the plan. The agency also sought input addressing two questions:

  1. What is the basis or rationale for priorities that NIOSH should give for studies of toxicity evaluation and/or workplace exposure characterization for engineered nanoparticles?
  2. What rationale can be provided for recommending needs and types of technical and educational guidance materials?

AIHA’s Nanotechnology Working Group developed the comments and recommendations, and AIHA President Allan K. Fleeger submitted the comments on behalf of the association on March 13.

AIHA’s comments addressed three of the five strategic research goals in NIOSH’s plan. Following are some of AIHA’s recommendations for NIOSH nanotechnology research:

  • Develop a nanomaterial hazard banding classification scheme.
  • When appropriate, utilize a systems biology approach when investigating the physical and chemical properties of particles that influence their toxicity.
  • Ensure aspect ratios are included as variables in carcinogenicity-toxicology studies.
  • In addition to pure substances, when possible, attempt to replicate conditions of actual use. Consider including industrial fluids that contain nanoparticles to supplement sterile nanopure water suspensions of nanoparticles when determining the relevance of in vitro and in vivo screening tests.

View all of AIHA’s comments as a PDF. For more information on NIOSH’s strategic plan, or to view the draft document, visit the agency’s website.