Posted: November 19, 2007

First examples for nanotechnology risk framework

(Nanowerk News) Back in February we reported that Environmental Defense and DuPont have been working together to develop a nanotechnology risk framework for the responsible development, production, use and disposal of nanoscale materials Nanotechnology risk framework by Environmental Defense and DuPont. One of the main goals of developing this framework has been to do so in an open, transparent manner with other groups, companies and institutions who are also working to assess the potential risks and benefits of nanomaterials.
Since then, DuPont conducted three demonstration projects in order to evaluate the comprehensiveness, practicality, and flexibility of the Framework. The three nanomaterials under consideration differed in terms of composition, structure, intended application, stage of development, and DuPont's role in the development, evaluation, or potential use of the material.
DuPont™ Light Stabilizer 210
The first material, DuPont™ Light Stabilizer 210, is a surface-treated high-rutile phase titanium dioxide. DuPont generated a complete Output Worksheet for this product, addressed all of the base sets, completed a risk evaluation, and selected risk management measures.
Carbon Nanotubes
The second material, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), consists of cylindrical carbon molecules whose novel properties make them potentially useful in a wide variety of applications (e.g., electronics optics, and materials). Both single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs) are being tested.
DuPont developed an Output Worksheet, but it did not address all of the base sets with data because the company’s use of CNTs at this point is in the research and development phase, with potential exposures limited to lab workers.
The third material, nano-sized zero-valent iron (nano-Fe0), is being developed and evaluated for potential use as a reagent to destroy contaminants in groundwater.
DuPont did not generate a full Output Worksheet for nano-Fe0. Rather, the company used the Framework to identify key uncertainties that must be addressed before DuPont would proceed further with evaluating the application.
All the documents can be found on the Nano Risk Framework website.
Source: Nano Risk Framework
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