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Workshop on Lifecycle Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials from Manufactured Products Helps Collaborative Efforts

Last week, ISRI attended the 2nd Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials from Manufactured Products (QEEN II) Workshop in Washington, DC at the Department of Labor.

Sponsored by OSHA, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), the workshop highlighted new research on the tools and methods available to characterize and quantify the presence of, release potential of, and exposures to engineered nanomaterials used in products across their lifecycle. Some products (e.g., vehicles and appliances) may already and will contain engineered nanomaterials and will enter the recycling stream. Environmental, health, and safety (EHS) research continues for characterizing and quantifying human and environmental exposures to engineered nanomaterials during product manufacturing and use, but little is known about EHS risks at product end-of-life. The workshop addressed the progress in integrating exposure, hazard, and risk to reduce uncertainties in nanomaterial EHS assessments across the lifecycle of materials and products and sought to identify of priorities and options for cross-disciplinary research collaborations. ISRI made contacts with many researchers and government officials working on engineered nanomaterials for future collaborations.

ISRI's activities related to engineered nanomaterials began in the mid-late 2000s with U.S. EPA Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), especially the NNI EHS Strategy in 2011. From a Design for Recycling® perspective, it is necessary for the recycling industry to engage manufacturers and users of engineered nanomaterials on the potential impacts to product recycling and recyclers of their choices in design and selection of materials and/or devices containing engineered nanomaterials (e.g., automotive plastics blended with multi-walled carbon nanotubes to impart strength and resilience).

For more information on engineered nanomaterials, please contact Chief Scientist/Director of Environmental Management David Wagger at (202) 662-8533.

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