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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. > Nanotech Items of Interest

Lynn L. Bergeson
Managing Director
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Abstract:
1) OECD Publishes Booklet On Nanosafety At The OECD
2) ASME Nanotechnology Institute Posts New Podcast In Nano Educational Series
3) NIOSH Requests Information To Update Its Nanotechnology Strategic Plan
4) PEN Reports Increase In Nano-Enabled Consumer Products

March 31st, 2011

Nanotech Items of Interest

OECD Publishes Booklet On Nanosafety At The OECD: On February 14, 2011, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a booklet entitled Nanosafety at the OECD: The First Five Years 2006-2010, which covers highlights of activities, priority areas, and major outcomes, as well as outreach in dealing with safety issues arising from manufactured nanomaterials. Regarding next steps, OECD states that its research and development program regarding manufactured nanomaterials is "processing rapidly," so the program remains flexible to address emerging issues in a "timely and resource efficient way." OECD states: "There is still much to learn to fully understand how to work safely with some nanomaterials. However, if countries continue to work together in the OECD, as they have started to do, this should ensure that the human health and environmental safety aspects are addressed appropriately and efficiently at the same time, as the economic opportunities of the technology advance." The booklet is available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/25/47104296.pdf

ASME Nanotechnology Institute Posts New Podcast In Nano Educational Series: On March 1, 2011, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nanotechnology Institute posted the most recent podcast in its Nano Educational Series. The podcast concerns nano environmental health and safety, with Dr. Andrew Maynard, University of Michigan Risk Science Center. A recent podcast, posted on March 15, 2011, discussed modeling and simulation with Professor Wing Kam Liu, Northwestern University. According to the Institute, it intends to improve users' technical literacy and provide information that will assist career planning and skills development. The podcasts are being offered on a complimentary basis, but users will first need to register. More information is available at http://nano.asme.org/Nano_Educational_Series.cfm

NIOSH Requests Information To Update Its Nanotechnology Strategic Plan: On March 7, 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced that it seeks comment on the types of hazard identification and risk management research that it should consider in updating the NIOSH 2009 nanotechnology strategic plan. 76 Fed. Reg. 12361. According to the Federal Register notice, NIOSH would like to build on the accomplishments of ongoing research to develop strategic research goals and objectives through 2015. NIOSH identified ten critical research areas for nanotechnology research and communication: (1) toxicity and internal dose; (2) measurement methods; (3) exposure assessment; (4) epidemiology and surveillance; (5) risk assessment; (6) engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE); (7) fire and explosion safety; (8) recommendations and guidance; (9) communication and information; and (10) applications. NIOSH states that it is considering focusing the overarching strategic research goals for these critical areas on five key goals:

- Provide guidance to protect workers;

- Alert workers, employers, governments, and the public about possible new hazards;

- Assess the hazards of nanomaterials and the risks to workers;

- Help workers by assessing and implementing exposure registries; and

- Assess the level of protection practiced in U.S. workplaces.

NIOSH requests comment on how research in the ten critical areas and five overarching goals can be enhanced. Examples of requested information include the need for toxicity evaluation and/or workplace exposure characterization of engineered nanoparticles not currently being studied; development of technical and educational guidance materials; development of additional partnerships and collaborations; and research in the development of risk management strategies. Comments are due April 15, 2011.

PEN Reports Increase In Nano-Enabled Consumer Products: On March 10, 2011, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) announced the most recent update to its consumer products inventory, which now includes more than 1,300 manufacturer-identified, nanotechnology-enabled products, ranging from conventional products, such as non-stick cookware, to more unique items, like self-cleaning window treatments. When PEN launched its inventory in March 2006, it included 212 products. PEN Director David Rejeski predicted that, if the current trend continues, the number of products could reach 3,400 by 2020. Health and fitness items continue to dominate the PEN inventory, representing 56 percent of products listed. The most common nanomaterial used is nanoscale silver, which is used in 313 products (24 percent of the inventory). The inventory includes products from over 30 countries, including the U.S., China, Canada, Germany, and India. The inventory is available at http://www.nanotechproject.org/inventories/consumer/

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