'[W]hile many critics say they are enthusiastic about some of those positive applications, they remain adamant that safety research and regulation must catch up and keep up with the technology’s proliferation. “I think we need to take a precautionary approach because we’ve learned the hard way over and over and over again,” says Hansen. “You’d think we would learn.”"
The original Lautenberg proposal would have allowed EPA to regulate novel nanomaterials more rigorously. It contained language that would have updated the definition of “chemical substance” to reflect the new science of nanotechnology, which exploits changes in size and shape of materials to manipulate their behavior, but also may present new health risks.
The Lautenberg-Vitter bill would maintain the status quo. It would give EPA no more power to oversee nanotechnology, despite the rapid development of these materials. That’s a serious gap. As a chemist specializing in nanotechnology, I know that certain nanomaterials can present greater hazards to health and the environment than ordinary ones. The EPA needs to have the ability to distinguish among different material forms to ensure that both new and existing nanomaterials are safe for us all."
"The nanomaterial graphene has potentially adverse environmental and health risks, according to a Swedish review. ... “Considerable” emissions of graphene from electronic devices and composites are possible in future, write the researchers in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. “There are many risk-related knowledge gaps to be filled,” they add."
"A United Arab Emirates draft cosmetics regulation, notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO), contains a requirement for companies to label cosmetic products containing nanomaterials. The requirement is similar to the one found in the EU cosmetics Regulation."
Inhaling nanoparticles may injure lungs Futurity: Research News The current study used mice to examine the health effects of inhaling two types of nanomaterials, those made from titanium dioxide and those made from multi-walled carbon nanotubes, a...
"The physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of ENMs that make them useful for so many applications also make them potentially hazardous for living systems. The unique properties stemming from their small dimensions, such as high reactivity, large surface area, and the tunable nature of their optical, electrical, and magnetic properties, differentiate them from other materials in fundamental ways. The vast and expanding array of ENMs entering the environment could present health risks to researchers, workers, and consumers. Although researchers have made progress in understanding biological responses to nanomaterials, the risks of exposure are not sufficiently understood to allow development of science-based risk assessment guidelines to support regulatory decision making (Maynard et al. 2006). There is a need to examine nanomaterial exposure, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion and to relate ENM properties to biological responses at the cellular, tissue, and whole-organism level."
"“In light of published research, the Obama administration should institute an immediate moratorium on fertilizing with biosolids from sewage treatment plants near nanomaterial fabrication facilities. A moratorium would give researchers time to determine whether nanomaterials in soil can be made safe and to research alternatives to building soil heath, rather than depending on fertilization with biosolids.” says IATP’s Dr. Steve Suppan.
Over time, the report explains, nanomaterials in these agricultural inputs can accumulate and harm soil health. More research is urgently needed to adequately understand possible long-term impacts of nanotechnology.
“As agri-nanotechnology rapidly enters the market, can soil health and everything that depends on it can be sustained without regulation?” asks Suppan. “That’s the question regulators, researchers and anyone involved in our food system should be asking themselves.”
The report also details risks specific to farmers and farmworkers applying dried biosolids that incorporate nanomaterials, including inflammation of the lungs, fibrosis and other toxicological impacts."
"These results indicate that MWCNT can increase the risk of cancer in mice exposed to a known carcinogen. The study did not indicate that MWCNTs alone cause cancer in mice. This research is an important step in our understanding of the hazards associated with MWCNT, but before we can determine whether MWCNT pose an occupational cancer risk, we need more information about workplace exposures, the types and nature of MWCNT being used in the workplace, and how that compares to the material used in this study. Research is underway at NIOSH to learn more about worker exposures and the potential occupational health risks associated with exposure to MWCNT and other types of CNTs and CNFs. As results from ongoing research become available, NIOSH will reassess its recommendations for CNT and CNF and make appropriate revisions as needed. NIOSH urges employers to share this information with workers and customers. NIOSH also requests that professional and trade associations and labor organizations inform their members about the potential hazards of CNT and CNF."
"Pure gold nanoparticles found in everyday items such as personal care products can inhibit fat storage, slow wound healing, and accelerate wrinkling. ... The most disturbing finding was that the particles interfered with genetic regulation, RNA expression and inhibited the ability to differentiate into mature adipocytes or fat cells."
"Workers in manufacturing can encounter a range of hazards on the job, but some of those dangers can pass unseen. Such is the case with nanoparticles, so tiny they can be inhaled and put workers at risk for various ailments, including lung cancer.
University of Iowa researchers, led by Tom Peters, associate professor of occupational and environmental health in the UI College of Public Health, have created a device that can detect certain nanoparticles, such as titanium dioxide, and workers’ exposure to them. The device is called the personal Nanoparticle Respiratory Deposition sampler."
"Prenatal exposure to nanoparticles may adversely affect sperm production in offspring, according to a Danish study on mice. ... Meanwhile, an Indian study on mice suggests a link between daily oral exposure to silver nanoparticles and weight loss. Scientists from Utter Pradesh used transmission electron microscopy to reveal that the nanoparticles may have damaged cells in the intestine as well as intestinal glands. The study is published in Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods."
"The most common way for nanoparticles to enter the environment is when they're washed down the drain, Diamond said. For example, the nano silver in socks, and the nano titanium in sunscreen or cosmetics ends up in sewage treatment plants. Diamond said it appears most of those particles are trapped in the sludge that remains after wastewater is treated. In that scenario, we would be more concerned about the application of sludge from wastewater treatment plants on crop lands which is a prevalent activity in the United States," he said. In Minnesota about 46,000 tons of dried sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants were spread on about 16,000 acres of farmland last year before farmers planted corn or soybeans. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 91,000 tons are incinerated and 20,000 tons are put in landfills. There's no easy way to test that sludge for nanoparticles."
"A new study published in the July 2013 issue of Biomaterials suggests that ingestion of silica nanoparticles which are commonly used in processed foods and dietary supplements can induce cardiovascular disease."
Nanotechnology, a group of techniques for manufacturing and manipulating sub-molecular sized materials, is being applied to agriculture, food processing and food packaging. This webinar will discuss the effect of nanomaterials on soil health and the food chain.
"Results: The overall in vitro toxicity profiles of ENM were: ZnO was cytotoxic to all cell types at 50 μg/mL or higher, but did not induce IL-1β. TiO2 was not cytotoxic except for the nanobelt form, which was cytotoxic and induced significant IL-1β production in THP-1 cells. MWCNT did not produce cytotoxicity, but stimulated lower levels of IL-1β production in THP-1 cells, with the original MWCNT producing the most IL-1β.
Conclusions: The results provided justification for the inclusion of mechanism-linked bioactivity assays along with traditional cytotoxicity assays for in vitro screening. In addition, the results suggest that conducting studies with multiple relevant cell types to avoid false negative outcomes is critical for accurate evaluation of ENM bioactivity."
"Results: TiO2-A, TiO2-P25, and TiO2-NB caused significant neutrophilia in mice at 1 day in 3 out of 4 labs, respectively. TiO2-NB caused neutrophilia in rats at 1 day in 2 out of 3 labs, while TiO2-P25 or TiO2-A had no significant effect in any of the labs. Inflammation induced by TiO2 in mice and rats resolved by day 7. All MWCNT types caused neutrophilia at 1 day in 3 out of 4 mouse labs and all rat labs. Three out of 4 labs observed similar histopathology to O-MWCNT or TiO2-NB in mice.
Conclusions: ENMs produced similar patterns of neutrophilia and pathology in rats and mice. Although inter-laboratory variability was found in the degree of neutrophilia caused by the three types of TiO2 nanoparticles, similar findings of relative potency for the three types of MWCNTs were found across all laboratories, thus providing greater confidence in these inter-laboratory comparisons."
"Here we review a small part of the rapidly growing scientific literature that raises questions about how ENMs might affect soil health and soil biodiversity in field trials and subsequently the commercial and chronic application of ENMs in agricultural soil. The questions concern not only the intentional use of ENMs in fertilizers, but the incidental presence of ENMs in “biosolids,” defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “treated residuals from wastewater treatment that can be used beneficially.”11 Biosolids are often used to fertilize agricultural fields. As a Purdue University researcher recently noted, “Land application of biosolids is standard procedure now [at least in the United States] . . . If any of that [biosolid] contains nanotubes, that could be a problem.”"
"Incinerating waste containing nanomaterials could increase emissions of some types of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), according to a US study.
Disposal of some waste containing nanomaterials through incineration is inevitable, says the research team, led by Linsey Marr from Virginia Tech. They incinerated paper and plastic waste containing a range of nanomaterials and monitored the chemicals released."
"Because of their small size, nanoparticles can to go places in the body that larger particles cannot. Nanoparticles in food or food packaging can gain access via ingestion, inhalation, or skin penetration. Once inside our bodies, nanoparticles can penetrate cell walls and pass into the blood and lymph system.
From there, the particles can circulate through the body and reach potentially sensitive target sites such as the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and heart, and may also cross the blood‐brain barrier. As You Sow’s survey results indicate that food, food packaging, and supplement companies are not being transparent about their use of nanomaterials.
The survey was sent to 2,500 companies in the food industry, including the 100 largest food processing companies, the 50 largest food distributors, the 75 largest food retailers, the 25 top packaging companies, the 50 top fast food companies, and 187 supplement companies. It yielded only 26 responses and a third of those companies admitted they did not know if nanomaterials are present in their products or supply chains. Only two companies had formal policies on the use of this new food additive that has undergone little or no safety testing."