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
Author: NSET/NEHI
Publication Date: Mar. 28 2016

Description:

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

Although federally-funded R&D yields hard-to-quantify benefits such as students educated, degrees conferred, companies started, patents and copyrights granted, developmental partnerships formed, and private sector investment inflows, there are many indicators of the impact of this ­­­­­investment.

For example, there are over 1,900 U.S.-based companies conducting R&D, manufacturing, or product sales in nanotechnology in 2016. Of these companies engaged in the nanotechnology sector, over 36% have participated in the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer programs funded by the Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The most recent Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) found approximately 1,500 companies engaged in nanotechnology with approximately 1,100 of these classified as small businesses (less than 500 employees). The difference in the number of companies cited above can be attributed to the year the data was collected and other methodologies.

A noteworthy impact of the NNI has been the focused investment by NNI-participating agencies in the establishment and development of multidisciplinary research and education centers devoted to nanoscience and nanotechnology. NNI agencies have developed an extensive infrastructure of nearly 100 major interdisciplinary research and education centers and user facilities across the United States. This cutting-edge fabrication and characterization equipment provides state-of-the-art nanoscience tools and expertise for research by non-profit or business organizations, whether small or large, for use-inspired research and some of the user facilities are available free-of-charge for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the scientific literature.

In December 2015, Lux Research estimated that nanotechnology-enabled products generated $1.6 trillion in global revenues in 2014; and that figure is anticipated to increase to $3.5 trillion in 2018.

Stay Connected with the NNI

Sign up for Email Alerts and Updates.

NNI-Sponsored Contests:

student video contest logoenvisionano logo