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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b1e2c
Epidemiologic Research: Original Article

Engineered Carbonaceous Nanomaterials Manufacturers in the United States: Workforce Size, Characteristics, and Feasibility of Epidemiologic Studies

Schubauer-Berigan, Mary K. PhD; Dahm, Matthew M. MPH; Yencken, Marianne S. MS

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Abstract

Objective: Toxicology studies suggest that carbon nanotube (CNT) exposures may cause adverse pulmonary effects. This study identified all US engineered carbonaceous nanomaterial (ECN) manufacturers, determined workforce size and growth, and characterized the materials produced to determine the feasibility of occupational ECN exposure studies.

Methods: Eligible companies were identified; information was assembled on the companies and nanomaterials they produced; and the workforce size, location, and growth were estimated.

Results: Sixty-one companies manufacturing ECN in the United States were identified. These companies employed at least 620 workers; workforce growth was projected at 15% to 17% annually. Most companies produced or used CNT. Half the eligible companies provided information about material dimensions, quantities, synthesis methods, and worker exposure reduction strategies.

Conclusions: Industrywide exposure assessment studies appear feasible; however, cohort studies are likely infeasible because of the small, scattered workforce.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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