NIOSH Recommends Exposure Limit for Carbon
Nanotubes and Nanofibers
NIOSH is proposing a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 7
µg/m3 for carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers, the agency
announced in December. The REL is included in a draft of a
“current intelligence bulletin” that summarizes occupational
safety and health implications, recommends work-related control measures, and identifies areas for additional research. A
public meeting to discuss
these topics is scheduled for
Feb. 3 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The draft of the bulletin
states that the proposed REL
“may not be completely
health protective” but that it
should “help lower the risk
of developing [work-related]
lung disease and assist employers in establishing an occupational health surveillance program that includes elements of hazard and medical
surveillance.” NIOSH advocates optimal use of sampling and
analysis to reduce airborne concentrations of carbon nanotubes
and nanofibers as low as possible.
The draft also recommends a strategic approach for assessing
potential work-related exposures and risks, controlling exposures
through a hierarchy of measures, instituting appropriate medical
screening programs, and educating workers on sources and job
tasks that may expose them to these types of nanomaterials.
To view the draft document, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/
review/docket161A/. The draft will be available for public comment until Feb. 18.
EPA to Expand Chemicals Screening for Endocrine
EPA will extend testing to 134 chemicals identified as potentially harmful to the endocrine system, according to a Nov. 16
press release. The chemicals indentified include those designated as priorities under
the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and
are used in products like solvents, gasoline,
plastics, personal care products, pesticides
“Americans today are exposed to more
chemicals in our products, our environment
and our bodies than ever before, and it is
essential that EPA takes every step to gather information and
prevent risks,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We are
using the best available science to examine a larger list of
chemicals and ensure that they are not contaminating the water
we drink and exposing adults and children to potential harm.”
In addition, EPA released draft policies and procedures that
require the agency to maintain chemical screening, endorse fair
cost-sharing, and address issues concerning chemicals under
the SDWA. EPA will order pesticide registrants and chemical
manufacturers to produce data that will determine whether
their chemicals disrupt the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pas-
sageways in the endocrine system.
EPA press releases are available at www.epa.gov/newsroom/
newsreleases.htm#date. For more information about the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, visit www.epa.gov/endo.
Philadelphia Eagles Go Green(er)
With the installation of nearly 2,500 solar panels, 80 20-foot-
tall wind turbines, and a generator that runs on biodiesel and
natural gas, Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia
Eagles, is set to become the first stadium to produce all its own
energy. According to the New York Times
(“For Eagles, a Winning Mix of Wind,
Biodiesel and Solar,” Nov. 17), this project is the latest in a series of green initiatives instituted by the Eagles since the
stadium opened in 2003. The team expects a decrease of almost 25 percent in
energy costs in the first year.
Solar panels, wind turbines, and a
dual-fuel co-generation plant are expected to be installed by September 2011.
The turbines and panels will meet about 25 percent of the stadium’s energy needs. The Eagles have also requested that Ara-mark, the food service and cleaning contractor at Lincoln
Financial Field, use nontoxic cleaning supplies and environmentally friendly plates, cups and utensils.
To read the Times article, go to www.nytimes.com/2010/
IOM Releases Report on Personal Protection Technology
In November 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a
pre-published version of the Report Certifying Personal Protection Technologies. The report gives recommendations for NIOSH
and the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory