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Limitations and information needs for engineered nanomaterial-specific exposure estimation and scenarios: recommendations for improved reporting practices

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to describe the process and challenges in building exposure scenarios for engineered nanomaterials (ENM), using an exposure scenario format similar to that used for the European Chemicals regulation (REACH). Over 60 exposure scenarios were developed based on information from publicly available sources (literature, books, and reports), publicly available exposure estimation models, occupational sampling campaign data from partnering institutions, and industrial partners regarding their own facilities. The primary focus was on carbon-based nanomaterials, nano-silver (nano-Ag) and nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2), and included occupational and consumer uses of these materials with consideration of the associated environmental release. The process of building exposure scenarios illustrated the availability and limitations of existing information and exposure assessment tools for characterizing exposure to ENM, particularly as it relates to risk assessment. This article describes the gaps in the information reviewed, recommends future areas of ENM exposure research, and proposes types of information that should, at a minimum, be included when reporting the results of such research, so that the information is useful in a wider context.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme Coordination and Support Action “NANEX—Development of Exposure Scenarios for Manufactured Nanomaterials” (Grant NMP-CSA-247794). We thank the Dr. Steffi Friedrichs, the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA), and its members for their generous cooperation and assistance with the case studies.

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Correspondence to Michael Riediker.

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Special Issue Editors: Candace S.-J. Tsai, Michael J. Ellenbecker

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Nanotechnology, Occupational and Environmental Health

The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors Frans M. Christensen and Christian Micheletti and not necessarily those of the European Commission.

Kaspar Schmid is currently affiliated with the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

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Clark, K., van Tongeren, M., Christensen, F.M. et al. Limitations and information needs for engineered nanomaterial-specific exposure estimation and scenarios: recommendations for improved reporting practices. J Nanopart Res 14, 970 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-012-0970-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11051-012-0970-x

Keywords

  • Nanomaterials
  • Exposure assessment
  • Risk assessment
  • Modeling
  • REACH
  • Environmental and health effects