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Workshop Summary: Epidemiologic Design Strategies for Studies of Nanomaterial Workers

Laney, A. Scott PhD, MPH; McCauley, Linda A. RN, PhD; Schubauer-Berigan, Mary K. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S87–S90
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b1af5
Epidemiologic Research: Original Article

Objective: The potential health consequences of exposure to nanomaterials have yet to be elucidated though increasing evidence points to the potential for nanomaterials to cause adverse human health effects. This workshop addressed the feasibility of developing studies to measure health risks among nanomaterial workers.

Methods: Breakout groups discussed different epidemiologic designs and methods to encourage companies to collect and retain exposure and health data.

Results: Major challenges include defining and recruitment of appropriate study populations and obtaining adequate exposure data. Both prospective cohort studies and small cross-sectional panel studies utilizing biomarkers of exposure and effect offer approaches to study occupational groups.

Conclusions: Potential exists to assemble cohorts to study the human health effects associated with nanomaterial exposure. Stakeholder partnerships are critical to the success of these studies and international partnerships hold great potential.

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr Scott Laney, Dr Schubauer-Berigan); and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University (Dr McCauley), Atlanta, Ga.

Address correspondence to: Linda A. McCauley, RN, PhD, Emory University School of Nursing, 1520 Clifton Rd, Ste 402, Atlanta, GA 30322; E-mail:

No Funding received for this work.

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