We are writing to inform you of the NanoRelease project and the latest updates in the progress of the project.
As the applications of nanotechnologies continue to rapidly expand into a wide variety of industries, it is critical to consider any potential effects on human and environmental health. The NanoRelease project was initiated to assure that we have methods for the starting component of any evaluation of risk – which is measuring the amount that is actually released when a product is used.
The NanoRelease project will support the development of methods to understand the release of nanomaterials used in products. To do this the project will (1) examine full life cycles of nanomaterials in products, (2) work through specific release scenarios at key exposure points of the life cycle, (3) organize existing material characteristics data and measurement methods for those release scenarios, (4) develop a “state of the science” report for release measurement, and (5) carry out inter-laboratory testing to promote improvements, standardization, and widespread use of methods.
In 2011, Phase 1 of the NanoRelease project was completed, resulting in the selection of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in polymers as the first material to be evaluated through inter-laboratory studies of methods. In Phase 2 of the project three Task Groups of more than 40 experts are evaluating: (1) measurement methods, (2) the effect of materials selected on release rates, and (3) identifying the key exposure/release scenarios, each of which will produce a white paper on their respective topic. Phase 3 is scheduled to begin in late 2012, with a “round robin” approach to inter-laboratory testing using a reference nanomaterial-matrix and positive controls for the study of MWCNT release from selected polymers.
A recent Bloomberg BNA Reports article gave a very positive perspective on the project. In the article, Pat Rizzuto reported that the NanoRelease project “could affect regulatory oversight, risk estimates, worker protections, product stewardship efforts, and the design of multiwalled carbon nanotubes as well as the plastics, resins, and other materials that contain them.” (Bloomberg BNA, Daily Environmental Report, Vol. 12, No. 13, January 23rd, 2012)
The NanoRelease project is organized by Dr. Richard Canady of the ILSI Research Foundation (contact information below). The project is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, Health Canada, the American Chemistry Council, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Adhesive and Sealant Council, and the American Cleaning Institute.
NanoRelease Project (Homepage)
Phase 1: Nanomaterial Selection (completed)
Phase 2: Methods Evaluation (in progress)
Phase 3: Interlaboratory Testing (late 2012)
Richard Canady, PhD, DABT