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Development of a French Epidemiological Surveillance System of Workers Producing or Handling Engineered Nanomaterials in the Workplace

Boutou-Kempf, Odile PharmD, MPH; Marchand, Jean-Luc PhD; Radauceanu, Anca MD; Witschger, Olivier PhD; Imbernon, Ellen MD; the group Health Risks of Nanotechnologies

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b1d68
Summary: Original Article

Objective: Concern has been raised about the potential impact of nanomaterials exposure on human health, and France has decided to implement a timely epidemiological surveillance tool of workers likely to be exposed to engineered nanomaterials that could accompany the development of nanotechnologies.

Methods: A comprehensive review of the toxicological and epidemiological literature has been conducted together with an exploratory study among French companies producing or handling nanoobjects.

Results: A double surveillance system is proposed consisting of a prospective cohort survey and repeated cross-sectional studies. The aim of the cohort is (1) to monitor long-term health effects and (2) to allow of further research. Setting-up an exposure registry is the first planned step.

Conclusions: The protocol is about to be submitted to the French Government for approval and funding.

Author Information

From French Institute for Public Health Surveillance, St Maurice (Dr Boutou-Kempf, Dr Marchand, Dr Imbernon); Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Vandoeuvre (Dr Radauceanu, Dr Witschger); and French Institute for Public Health Research, Paris, France.

Address correspondence to: Odile Boutou-Kempf, Institut de veille sanitaire, Agence régionale de santé Rhône-Alpes, cellule de l'InVS en région, 129 rue Servient, 69418 Lyon cedex 03, France (

* The group comprised André J-C, Bloch D, Boczkowski J, Brochard P, Chevallier R, Dab W, Fontaine M, Goldberg M, Honnert B, Luce D, Maisonneuve P, Maladry P, Marano F, Nadif R, Pairon JC, Spira A, and Thieriet N.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine