Nanotechnology Law Report

Silver Nanoparticles: NIOSH Seeks Information and Comment

Today's Federal Register carries a notice from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) requesting information and comments regarding silver nanoparticles. NIOSH

has initiated an evaluation of the scientific data on silver nanoparticles
(AgNPs) to ascertain the potential health risks to workers and to
identify gaps in knowledge so that appropriate laboratory and field
research studies can be conducted. . . .

. . . gathering data to determine whether a
health risk to workers may exist from exposure to AgNPs and if specific
risk management guidance is needed to prevent exposure. . . .

Information is particularly needed for determining the relevance
of bile duct hyperplasia and hepatocellular necrosis observed in AgNP
exposed rats, as well as information on: (1) Sources of AgNP exposure,
(2) factors that influence worker's exposure, (3) in-place exposure
control measures (e.g., engineering controls) and work practices that
are effective in reducing worker exposures, and (4) appropriate
measurement methods and exposure metrics for characterizing workplace
exposures. . . .

Examples of requested
information include the following:
    (1) Identification of industries or occupations in which exposures
to AgNPs may occur.
    (2) Trends in the production and use of AgNPs.
    (3) Description of work tasks and scenarios with a potential for
exposure to AgNPs.
    (4) Workplace exposure measurement data in various types of
industries and jobs.
    (5) Case reports or other health information demonstrating
potential health effects in workers exposed to AgNPs.
    (6) Research findings from in vitro and in vivo toxicity studies,
including physical-chemical characterization of AgNPs.
    (7) Information on control measures (e.g., engineering controls,
work practices, PPE) being taken to minimize worker exposure to AgNPs.
    (8) Information on measurement methods and exposure metrics that
can be used to quantify worker exposure to AgNPs including information
on the limitations of those methods in quantifying exposures?


Information submitted my include "published and unpublished reports and research findings".

"All information received in response to this notice must include the agency name and docket number (CDC-2012-0014; NIOSH-260)".  and may be submitted either online via - instructions on how to submit are available on the website - or by mail to 

NIOSH Docket Office,

Robert A. Taft Laboratories,

4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226.


Comments and information submitted will be posted to the docket on The deadline for submitting either comments or information is February 19, 2013.

NIOSH has compiled a listing of relevant publications regarding AgNPS, "Evaluation of the Scientific Data on Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPS)" and will be posting that listing to the docket on Several studies of silver nanoparticles are listed as references in the notice and presumable compose the bulk of the listing. This posting will be updated when the list is available.

For further information please contact

Ralph Zumwalde, NIOSH,


Robert  A. Taft Laboratories,

4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226,
telephone (513) 533-8320

or Eileen Kuempel, telephone (513) 533-8363


"Evaluation of the Scientific Data on Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPS)" has been posted to the docket on

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