Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials (QEEN) from Manufactured Products – Addressing Environmental, Health, and Safety Implications

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
NNI Workshop Reports
EHS-related Documents
Publication Date: Mar. 28 2016


This report on Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials (QEEN) from Manufactured Products – Addressing Environmental, Health, and Safety Implications is the result of a technical workshop sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and co-hosted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) on July 7 and 8, 2015, in Arlington, VA. The main goals for the workshop were to (1) assess progress in developing tools and methods for quantifying exposure to engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) across the product life cycle, and (2) to identify new research needed to advance nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety exposure assessment for nanotechnology-enabled products. The workshop included an overview of the field by exposure science experts as well as technical sessions highlighting current research on quantifying exposure at different stages of the product life cycle and in different product media and environments. It also included a poster session and several roundtable discussions organized to help participants better understand the challenges and accomplishments thus far in exposure science.

This report summarizes the presentations and discussions of over 200 participants from the exposure science community regarding progress during the last decade in quantifying ENM exposures. Current gaps in characterization tools and techniques are identified and discussed, along with exposure assessment methodologies, and simulation and modeling tools. Finally, the report suggests a path forward that will help bridge exposure science with toxicology and ultimately benefit data-based risk assessment and risk-based decision making for nanotechnology-enabled products.

Nanotechnology Fact

The NNI community extends beyond the Federal Government and includes grantees, students, companies, technical and professional societies, foundations, and others engaged in nanotechnology research and development. This vibrant community exists in large part as a result of the efforts of the NNI agencies over the past two decades. With the expansion of scientific knowledge in nanotechnology, formal and informal collaborations have developed among researchers across a diverse range of fields and countries. These interactions and collaborations have been and continue to be facilitated by agency activities including public–private partnerships, research centers, and networks. In addition to providing fabrication, characterization, and testing capabilities, the NNI’s physical infrastructure also provides a place for researchers, industry, and ideas to mix, further expanding the community. This community has broken down the traditional disciplinary boundaries and laid the foundation for interdisciplinary discovery, which is increasingly vital to research as fields converge.

If you are interested in learning how you can participate, send an email to info@nnco.nano.gov.

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