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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
June 5, 2013

NIOSH Warns of Nanomaterials’ Health Risks

Author Affiliations

News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Section Editor: Rebecca Voelker, MSJ.

JAMA. 2013;309(21):2207. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6027

As nanotechnology expands into every industrial sector, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended limiting on-the-job exposure to 2 types of nanomaterials found in hundreds of products, including plastics, paints, and electronics, to reduce workers' risk of certain lung ailments.

Animal studies have shown that inhalation of carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers may cause pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory effects, and granulomas. NIOSH said similar lung effects have been observed in workers exposed to respirable particulates of other materials in dusty places. A recent study also showed that inhalation exposure may cause cancer in mice.

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