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Exposure Registries: Overview and Utility for Nanomaterial Workers

Schulte, Paul A. PhD; Mundt, Diane J. PhD; Nasterlack, Michael MD; Mulloy, Karen B. DO; Mundt, Kenneth A. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S42–S47
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821aebed
Exposure Registries: Original Article

Objective: This article provides the background for consideration of exposure registries to address potential disease risks in nanomaterial workers.

Methods: The history of exposure registries is reviewed with a focus on their purpose and criteria for establishment.

Results: A rationale is presented for developing registries of nanomaterial workers, and unresolved obstacles and challenges are identified. These include issues on inclusion criteria, funding, potential for legal risks, access to data, confidentiality of business information, privacy, and workers' expectations.

Conclusion: If society is to gain the benefits from nanotechnology, it must take precautions and demonstrate care for those, such as workers, who may be most at risk of adverse effects. Establishing exposure registries is a part of such a precautionary and caring approach.

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, OH (Dr Schulte); ENVIRON International Corporation, Boston and Amherst, MA (Drs D. J. Mundt and K. A. Mundt); BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany (Dr Nasterlack); and Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO (Dr Mulloy).

Address correspondence to: Paul A. Schulte, PhD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS C-14, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226; PSchulte@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.

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine