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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

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S62–S67
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b1e2c
Epidemiologic Research: Original Article

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.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

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

Address correspondence to: Mary K. Schubauer-Berigan, PhD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, Industrywide Studies Branch, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS-R15, Cincinnati, OH 45226. E-mail:

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 (NIOSH).

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