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NanoHealth and Safety

Program Description

At the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a unique combination of knowledge, expertise, and a commitment to understanding the role of environmental exposures in human disease enables novel approaches to the study of nanomaterials and their potential impact on human health, or nanohealth. The critical research challenges for nanoscale materials - determining dose, assessing biological response, and quantifying exposure and risk - are the same challenges on which the NIEHS has built its reputation. Recognizing that engineered nanomaterials are quickly surrounding us in the products of our daily life such as drugs, cosmetics, electronics, and more, the NIEHS began to delve into this area of research several years ago, and is continuing to expand the inquiry into this emerging and important field. The outcome of these efforts will be the design of nanomaterials that are both innovative and safe for commercialization in medical, industrial, and consumer products.

mouse, buckyball, nanotechnologyDNA microarray, DNA chip, testThe NIEHS is engaged in a collaborative effort with the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioinformatics to develop the critically needed bioinformatics framework for nanohealth and safety research data.carbon nanotube, nanotechnology

The NIEHS has been working to encourage and support research into the underlying properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) to determine their potential biocompatibility or toxicity to human health. Recent grants, funded in partnership with other NIH institutes and federal agencies, are helping to build the foundation of our understanding of how the unique chemical and physical properties that emerge at the nanoscale may affect the interactions between environmental exposures and the body.

  • NanoHealth at the NIEHS (  Download Adobe Reader (1.8MB)
    This brochure outlines the range of programs and intitiatives the NIEHS and NTP are currently engaging in to further the study of nanohealth and safety.
  • NanoHealth Enterprise Initiative (  Download Adobe Reader (322KB)
    This "white paper" outlines the NanoHealth and Safety Enterprise, an effort to develop and use public-private partnerships among federal agencies, private industries, academia, policy groups, and advocacy organizations to support and promote research on nanotechnology and human health.

Program Contacts

Srikanth Nadadur, Ph.D.
Program Administrator
Tel (919) 541-5327
Fax (919) 541-5064

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Last Reviewed: January 06, 2009