Activities & Projects

Nanomaterials Safety & EHS/OHS Policy

Development of policies related to Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) need to be underpinned by scientific data. Promotion of science- and technology-based support for the safe and reliable advance and commercialisation of nanotechnologies is a core aim for NIA. Particularly important in achieving this is advanced collaboration both within the industrial community and between all stakeholders of nanotechnologies, in order to ultimately secure the societal and environmental benefits of nanotechnology. 

Activities and Projects to which NIA actively participates related to EHS and OHS policies are listed below.

The objective of the caLIBRAte project is to establish a state-of-the-art versatile Risk Governance framework for assessment and management of human and environmental risks of MN and MN-enabled products. The framework will be a web-based “system-of-systems” linking different models and methods for:

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ProSafe has been designed to coordinate and support the aims of EU Member and associated states in their EU and international efforts (OECD, COR, EU-USA) regarding risk assessment, management and governance by streamlining data acquisition, collection and management on regulatory orientated toxicology testing of nanomaterials, exposure monitoring, LCA, and disposal and treatment of waste nanomaterials.

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One of the greatest challenges facing regulators in the ever changing landscape of novel nano-materials is how to design and implement a regulatory process which is robust enough to deal with a rapidly diversifying system of manufactured nanomaterials (MNM) over time. Not only does the complexity of the MNM present a problem for regulators, the validity of data decreases with time, so that the well-known principle of the half-life of facts (Samuel Arbesman, 2012) means that what is an accepted truth now is no longer valid in 20 or 30 years time.

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NanoDefine aims to develop validated measurement methods for nanomaterials; these methods are to be robust, readily implementable, cost-effective and capable of both reliably measuring the numbers of particles in the 1-100nm diameter range, and compare that to the measured numbers of particles from 1nm diameter to many micrometres (or even millimetres). The chosen methods will be based on a comprehensive evaluation of existing methodologies as well as a rigorous intra-lab and inter-lab comparison. 

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As part of its support and integrated service to its Members, the NIA prepare its presence to the CASG-nano and the ECHA Stakeholder Group in close cooperation with its Members, in order to allow for appropriate input from its Members on relevant topics on the meeting agendas, and follow up with detailed minutes.

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The Global-NanoMaPPP addresses safety of nanomaterials in a transparent, trustful and coherent collaboration between industry, public authorities, scientists and other stakeholders: It forms a joint initiative to regulatory compliance on the responsible, sustainable development of nanomaterials, with the view to fostering innovation through safe commercialisation of nanomaterials and products containing nanomaterials.

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Update July 2014 Several scientific publications from this NanoRelease project have been published (and are freely available) in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, issue 4, July 2014. The following are the five publications:

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Nanotechnology, and in particular the use of nanoparticles in ink and pigment formulations, has great potential for new applications, leading to products with new or enhanced properties as well as opening new market opportunities.

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The innovative and economic potential of Manufactured Nano Materials (MNMs) is threatened by a limited understanding of the related EHS issues. While toxicity data is continuously becoming available, the relevance to regulators is often unclear or unproven. The shrinking time to market of new MNM drives the need for urgent action by regulators. NANoREG is the first FP7 project to deliver the answers needed by regulators and legislators on EHS by linking them to a scientific evaluation of data and test methods.

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This study aimed at analysing the likely route and extent of human exposure to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) via inhalation for a set of representative CNT-containing products in a lifecycle perspective. As part of the study, a review of all available CNT-containing products was carried out, and a representative subset of the products was identified for exposure analysis. The three CNT-containing products selected for the study included lithium-ion batteries, epoxy adhesive resins, and textiles.

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