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NIOSH Offers Nanoparticle Information Library to Meet User’s Needs for Online Resource


NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
February 23, 2006

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers a new, web-based Nanoparticle Information Library (NIL) for public use and comment. The new, interactive database responds to the needs of scientists, business leaders, and others for information on different types of nanoparticles in current use, their physical and chemical characteristics, and their occupational health and safety implications.

The Library is available at as a resource for those diverse users – from students to researchers – and as a forum in which scientists can share their latest technical information. By providing the database, NIOSH hopes to further the ability of researchers and decision-makers to address the question of whether work-related exposures to nanomaterials may have unintended health consequences.

“Stakeholders widely agree that new research on the occupational health and safety implications of nanotechnology is essential for U.S. leadership in this growing industry,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The Nanoparticle Information Library is designed to be a national resource to help advance such studies. It provides instant access to information that would take hours to find otherwise, and offers a dedicated cyber-forum to help scientists communicate and network with each other.”

The Library will be continually expanded to reflect new information, and will be revised as needed to meet users’ needs. Information is contributed by both NIOSH scientists and outside colleagues. Features include:

  • Images of nanoparticles.
  • Information on physical properties relevant to occupational safety and health studies, such as size, shape, structure, surface characteristics, and chemical properties.
  • Origin and/or synthesis of different kinds of nanoparticles.
  • Applications and/or industries if known.
  • Related occupations if known.
  • Health and safety notes, including links to material safety data sheets, information from toxicity studies, and best practices for production and workplace use.
  • Information on contributors, including email addresses and links to web sites.
  • A search engine for navigating the site quickly and easily.

The Library is part of NIOSH’s strategic program for conducting advanced research on the occupational health and safety implications of nanotechnology, providing interim guidance on occupational health practices, and stimulating new partnerships. Further information on this strategic program is available at