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Current Surveillance Plan for Persons Handling Nanomaterials in the National University of Singapore

Sng, Judy MMed; Quee, David Koh Soo PhD; Yu, Liya E. PhD; Gunaratnam, Saravanan MSc

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821ad5dc
Medical Surveillance: Original Article

Objective: The number of research projects involving engineered nanomaterials within the National University of Singapore is increasing. We aim to characterize typical exposures in our laboratories and to develop a health surveillance protocol for persons working with nanomaterials in this project that has recently been launched.

Methods: Our surveillance project builds on existing occupational safety and health risk assessment systems in the National University of Singapore.

Results: Environmental monitoring will be conducted in all laboratories handling nanomaterials, encompassing airborne nanomaterial concentrations, characterizing chemical and physical properties and assessing dermal exposure potential and significance. Health surveillance will initially follow the occupational health program already in place, to be progressively fine-tuned as more nanotoxicity data become available.

Conclusion: Our vision is to build an adequate base for a cohort study that can provide good data on the health outcomes of nanomaterials-exposed persons.

Author Information

From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (Dr Sng, Dr Koh); Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering (Dr Yu); Safety and Health Management Division, Office of Safety, Health & Environment (Mr Saravanam), National University of Singapore.

Address correspondence to: Dr Judy Sng, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Block MD3, 16 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597 (

This project is funded by the Ministry of Education's Academic Research Fund (Tier 1: R-186-000-111-133).

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine