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Exposure Control Strategies in the Carbonaceous Nanomaterial Industry

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

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S68–S73
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b1d3b
Epidemiologic Research: Original Article

Objective: Little is known about exposure control strategies currently being implemented to minimize exposures during the production or use of nanomaterials in the United States. Our goal was to estimate types and quantities of materials used and factors related to workplace exposure reductions among companies manufacturing or using engineered carbonaceous nanomaterials (ECNs).

Methods: Information was collected through phone surveys on work practices and exposure control strategies from 30 participating producers and users of ECN. The participants were classified into three groups for further examination.

Results: We report here the use of exposure control strategies. Observed patterns suggest that large-scale manufacturers report greater use of nanospecific exposure control strategies particularly for respiratory protection.

Conclusion: Workplaces producing or using ECN generally report using engineering and administrative controls as well as personal protective equipment to control workplace employee exposure.

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, Industrywide Studies Branch (Mr Dahm, Dr Schubauer-Berigan) Cincinnati, Ohio; and Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation (Ms Yencken), Seattle, Wash.

Address corresponding to: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, Industrywide Studies Branch, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS-R14, Cincinnati, OH 45226 (mdahm@cdc.gov).

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine