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Nanotechnology: Applications and Implications for the Environment. Alan G. Cummings CEO and Co-Founder Seldon Technologies. Nanotechnology: Applications and Implications for the Environment. Brenda Barry Senior Toxicologist The Cadmus Group.

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Nanotechnology: Applications and Implications for the Environment

Alan G. Cummings

CEO and Co-Founder

Seldon Technologies

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Nanotechnology: Applications and Implications for the Environment

Brenda Barry

Senior Toxicologist

The Cadmus Group

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Nanotoxicology EnvironmentState-of-the-Science Regarding the Toxicity of Nanomaterials

Brenda E. Barry, Ph.D., R.B.P.

Senior Toxicologist

The Cadmus Group, Inc.

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Mercedes CLS Class Environment

Hummer H2

Wilson Double-Core Tennis Balls

Samsung Nano

SilverSeal Refrigerator

Eddie Bauer Ruston Fit Nano-Tex Khakis

Nanotechnology Products Are Here Now

NANO B-12 Vitamin Spray

Dermatone SPF 20 Natural Formula

Curad Silver Bandages

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Environmental Applications for Nanomaterials Environment

  • Emulsified zero-valent iron for remediation efforts

  • NM for filtration media

    • Water

    • Other fluids

  • Cerium oxide as diesel fuel additive

  • NASA's Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron

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    Nanotechnology Challenges Environment

    • Do nanomaterials (NM) present new and unique risks for health and safety and for the environment?

    • Can the potential benefits of nanotechnology be achieved while minimizing the potential risks?

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    Categories of Nanomaterials Environment

    • EPA

      • Carbon-based

      • Metal-based

      • Dendrimers

      • Composites

    • National Academy of Sciences

      • Nanotubes

      • Nanoclays

      • Quantum dots

      • Metal oxides

    Quantum Dots


    Carbon Nanotubes

    Slide8 l.jpg

    Manufacturing Environment







    Nano- Intermediate


    Nano-enabled product





    End of life


    Life Cycle of Nanomaterials

    From: L. Gibbs 2006

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    Health, Safety, and Environmental Concerns Regarding NM Environment

    • Human implications

      • NM toxicity not yet well understood; nano-size materials do not behave like their bulk counterparts

      • Reactivity of NM due to large surface area

      • Potential for bioaccumulation

  • Environmental implications

    • Contamination of water and soil from improper disposal of NM

    • Bio-uptake of NM and accumulation in food chain

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    Nanotoxicology Environment

    • Nanotoxicology – Science of engineered nanodevices and nanostructures that deals with their effects in living organisms (Oberdorster et al. 2005 )

    • Potential NM exposure routes include:

      • Inhalation

      • Dermal contact

      • Ingestion

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    Research Approaches to EnvironmentUnderstandNM Toxicity

    • In vitro and in vivo approaches allow study of the mechanisms and biological effects of NM on cells and tissues under controlled conditions

    • In vivo models include:

      • Inhalation chambers

      • Intratracheal instillation

      • Nose-only inhalation

      • Pharyngeal aspiration

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    Proximal Alveolar Region SWCNT Day 3 Environment

    Silver-enhanced gold-labeled aggregate SWCNT, 40 ug aspiration,

    perfusion fixed. Mercer - NIOSH

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    SWCNT Response 7 Days Environment

    Pharyngeal aspiration of 40ug SWCNT in C57BL/6 mice

    Mercer - NIOSH

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    Translocation/Bioaccumulation Environmentof Nanomaterials

    • Nanoparticles can cross alveolar wall into bloodstream

    • Absence of alveolar macrophage response

    • Distribution of NM to other organs and tissues

    • Inhaled nanoparticles may reach brain through olfactory nerve

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    In Vitro Environment NM Studies

    • Monteiro-Riviere et al. 2006 - Isolated porcine skin flap model and HEK

      • MWCNT, substituted fullerenes, and QD can penetrate intact skin

      • Cytotoxic and inflammatory responses

    • Tinkle et al. 2003 - Human skin flexion studies and beryllium exposures

      • Penetration of dermis with 0.5μm an 1μm fluorescent beads

    In vitro nm studies17 l.jpg
    In Vitro Environment NM Studies

    • Fullerenes can interact with cell membranes and specifically with membrane lipids (Isakovic et al. 2006; Sayes et al. 2004; 2005; Kamat et al. 2000).

    • Interactions can produce lipid peroxidation and leaky cell membranes that result in the release of cellular enzymes.

    • Proposed mechanism of damage is that fullerenes generate superoxide anions

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    Functionalization of NM Environment

    • Different chemical groups added to the surface of CNT changed CNT properties and decreased their toxicity (Sayes et al. 2006)

    • Addition of water-soluble functional groups can decrease the toxicity of pristine C60 (Sayes et al. 2004)

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    Ingestion Pathway Environment

    • Ingestion exposures can occur through direct intake of food or materials containing NM and secondary to inhalation or dermal exposures

    • Some evidence suggests that ingested NM may pass through to lymphatics

    • Little research to date about Ingestion exposures and the potential for distribution of NM to other tissues

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    Workplace Studies Environment

    Handling Raw SWCNT

    From Maynard 2005

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    Workplace Studies Environment

    • Maynard and coworkers (2004) determined that aerosol concentrations of NM during handling of unrefined NM material were low

    • More energetic processes likely needed to increase airborne concentrations of NM

    • Gloves were contaminated with NM

    • Results indicated importance of dermal contact as potential exposure route

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    Environmental Risk Concerns Regarding NM Environment

    • What happens to NM after product use and disposal?

    • What is the fate of NM in the environment?

    • Do NM degrade?

    • Will NM accumulate in the food chain?

    • How to evaluate real world exposures to NM?

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    NM and Ecotoxicology Environment

    • Exposures of largemouth bass to fullerenes for 48 hr produced lipid damage in brain tissues (E Oberdorster 2004)

    • Exposures of Daphnia to uncoated, water soluble fullerenes for 48 hr indicated an LC50 of 800 ppb

      (E Oberdorster 2004)

    Largemouth bass

    Daphnia –water flea

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    Federal Agency Positions on NM Environment

    • Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research: Filling the Knowledge Gaps

    • Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology:An Information Exchange with NIOSH

    • Nanoparticle Information Library (NIL)

    • Control banding approaches

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    Federal Agency Positions on NM Environment

    • EPA

      • Toxic Substances Control Act

        • Framework to oversee the manufacture and risk assessment of new materials

      • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

      • Nanotechnology White Paper

        • Draft released December 2005

      • Nanoscale Materials Voluntary Program

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    Federal Agency Positions on NM Environment

    • Food and Drug Administration

      • Food Drug and Cosmetic Act 1938

      • Public Meeting, October 10, 2006

  • OSHA

    • Plans to develop guidance for employers and employees engaged in operations involving nanomaterials

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    Assessing Risks of Nanomaterials Environment

    • Identify and characterize potential NM hazards

    • Assess potential exposure scenarios

    • Evaluate toxicity

    • Characterize risk and uncertainty

    • Communicate about risks

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    ASSESS Environment












    USE/End of Use



    Cadmus Adaptive Risk Assessment Framework for NM

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    Cadmus Adaptive Risk Assessment Framework for NM Environment

    • Screening tool to identify and prioritize key health and process issues

    • Dynamic approach that can be applied to a diverse array of hazards

    • Identifies key uncertainties

    • Adaptive aspect allows reevaluation of previous decisions when new information is available

    • Direct application to health and safety concerns

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    Nanotechnology EnvironmentWhere Are We Today?

    • Limited number of NM have been evaluated to date

    • Mechanisms for potential NM toxicity are an active area of research

    • Specific NM properties, particularly their surface characteristics, clearly affect their toxicity

    • No specific regulations – yet!

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    Nanotechnology EnvironmentWhere Are We Going?

    Source: Boston Globe October 7, 2006

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    Panel Discussion EnvironmentModerator: Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D.Principal, Cadmus Group

    Kendall Marra, MassDEP Division of Policy and Program Development

    Michael J. Ellenbecker, Sc.D., Professor

    University of Massachusetts

    Carl R. Elder, Ph.D., P.E.,Senior Enegineer,

    GeoSyntec Consultants