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Lorie Sheremeta_ A life cycle approach to understanding and managing risks and benefits of nanotechnology


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  • Nanostructured – a material that has a structure comprising contiguous elements with one or more dimensions in the nanoscale (excluding any primary structure associated with component atoms or molecules)EU – 2011“Nanomaterials” were defined as:Natural, incidental or manufactured material containing particles,Where the particles are in an unbound state or in an aggregate or agglomerate, andWhere 50% or more of the particles in the material have one or more external dimensions in the size range 1 nm – 100 nm.The definition also includes fullerenes, graphene flakes and single wall carbon nanotubes, although they often exist in size ranges less than 1 nm.Canada – Working Definition
  • Find points on remediationSpecifically, in relation to two main sources ofcurrent and potential releases of free nanoparticlesand nanotubes to the environment, we recommend:(i) that factories and research laboratories treatmanufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes asif they were hazardous, and seek to reduce orremove them from waste streams. (Section 5.4:paragraph 41)(ii) that the use of free (that is, not fixed in amatrix) manufactured nanoparticles inenvironmental applications such as remediationbe prohibited until appropriate research hasbeen undertaken and it can be demonstratedthat the potential benefits outweigh thepotential risks. (Section 5.4: paragraph 44)
  • the approaches for the testing and assessment of traditional chemicals are in general appropriate for assessing the safety of nanomaterials, but may have to be adapted to the specificities of nanomaterials
  • Cadmiumselenide – Gallium arsenide - The toxicological properties of gallium arsenide have not been thoroughly investigated. On one hand, due to its arsenic content, it is considered highly toxic and carcinogenic. On the other hand, the crystal is stable enough that ingested pieces may be passed with negligible absorption by the body. When ground into very fine particles, such as in wafer-polishing processes, the high surface area enables more reaction with water releasing some arsine and/or dissolved arsenic. The environment, health and safety aspects of gallium arsenide sources (such as trimethylgallium and arsine) and industrial hygiene monitoring studies of metalorganic precursors have been reported.[14] California lists gallium arsenide as a carcinogenThere are five widely known methods to produce nanomaterials, and they are as follows: •         Sol-gel synthesis, •         Inert gas condensation, •         Mechanical alloying or high-energy ball milling, •         Plasma synthesis, and •         Electrodeposition.
  • Fugitive emissions are emissions of gases or vapors from pressurized equipment due to leaks and various other unintended or irregular releases of gases, mostly from industrial activities.
  • Quite sure but cannot prove that the vast majority of “nanowaste” comes from conventional industrial tools and practices: e.g. diesel trucks, automobiles, cement factories, coal plants
  • W. Zhang “Nanoscale Iron Particles for Environmental Remediation: AnOverview” (2003) 5 J. Nanoparticle Res. 323-332In situ field research performed on contaminated sites hasdemonstrated promising results using nanoscale bimetallic particles for treating avariety of common environmental contaminants in groundwater.48 Field studiesundertaken in New Jersey and North Carolina have shown nanoscale iron particles tobe both effective and adaptable for the treatment of environmental contamination.Iron particles can be injected into the ground subsurface or deployed in off-site slurryreactors for treating contaminated soil, sediment and solid wastes. Alternatively, theycan be mounted a solid matrix such as activated carbon for treatment of water,wastewater or gaseous process streams.
  • Iron nps – strong reductant. Can be used to remediate any contaminants that can be downgraded or transformed through reduction – pcbs, ddt, dioxin – encouragning resultsDirect application of nps suspended in slurry and injected into the contaminated site –avoid digging up soil to treat itHigh Surface areaEnhanced ReactivityUse much less materialFast reaction timeLess potential for unwanted intermediates to formBut, potential for downstream problems of not knowing the latent effects on the ecosystem in which they are released.
  • Transcript

    • 1. National Institute for Nanotechnology• Institut national de nanotechnologie A Life-Cycle Approach to Understanding and Managing Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology Lori Sheremeta, LL.M. Counsel, Strategy & Stakeholder Relations National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA NE3LS Network International Conference 2012 November 1-2, 2012, Montreal, Canada
    • 2. Overview• Definitional Issues – Nanotechnology – Nanomaterials – Nanoparticles – Nanowaste• Materials and Products of Interest – R&D – Manufacturing – Product Use – End of Life• Challenges• Towards the future
    • 3. Nanotechnology Lux Research Inc., Nanomaterials State of the Market Q3 2008: Stealth Success, Broad Impact, July 2008 at p 13
    • 4. Nanotechnology Includes• The technologies used to make, manipulate and characterize nanomaterials and nanostructures.
    • 5. Nanomaterial• A material having one or more external dimensions in the nanoscale or a material that is nanostructured.• Nanoscale materials have always existed.• BUT, we have only recently been able to intentionally manufacture, observe and manipulate materials at that scale.
    • 6. Nanoparticle • A nanomaterial with size ≤ 100nm in 3 dimensionsGraphene sheets “Transition Zone Semi-conductor nano-crystals Between Atomic and C60 Bulk-like State” Royal Commission on Envir. Pollution, 2008
    • 7. What is important about the nanoscale?• Materials, known to us in their bulk form, can behave differently at the nanoscale• Physico-chemical properties are mutable as size changes – Size leads to  Surface Area – Potential for increased chemical and biological reactivity and a loss of predictability• Small particles can go where larger particles cannot – Translocation across cell membranes is increased as particle size decreases• Key Question: How do these characteristics impact SAFETY?
    • 8. Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: Opportunities andChallenges, July 2004• Important report published in response to public action group’s call for moratorium on the commercial production of new nanomaterials (ETC Group, January 2003).• Moratorium not feasible; exposure to NMs should be limited insofar as possible; treat as hazardous and seek to remove them from waste streams.• The use of free manufactured nanoparticles in environmental applications such as remediation should be prohibited until appropriate research has been undertaken to ascertain that the benefits > risks.• Relevant regulatory bodies should consider whether existing regulations are appropriate to protect humans and the environment from NMs/NPs.• Life Cycle Assessment should be used to examine exposure risk from cradle to grave.
    • 9. Royal Society & Royal Academy of Engineering, Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies, Opportunities and Uncertainties, 2004,
    • 10. Regulatory ComplexityEnvironment CanadaCanadian Environmental Protection Act•New Substances Notification Regs•Persistence and Bioaccumulation RegsCanadian Environmental Assessment ActFisheries Act, Oceans ActAgricultural Products, Pest Control and Fertilizers ActsHealth CanadaFood & Drugs Act•Food & Drugs Regs•Medical Devices Regs•Cosmetics Regs•Natural Health Products RegulationsHazardous Products Act•Controlled Products Regulations•Work Hazardous Materials Information System
    • 11. Total Products Listed
    • 12. Region of Origin
    • 13. Some Examples
    • 14. Major Materials
    • 15. International Coordination: OECD Activities• Working Party on Nanotechnology - advises on emerging policy-relevant issues in science, technology and innovation related to the responsible development and use of nanotechnology• Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials– facilitates international cooperation on EHS aspects of manufactured nanomaterials• (Working Party on Resource Productivity and Waste)
    • 16. Materials of Particular InterestFullerenes (C60) Aluminum OxideSingle Walled Carbon Nanotubes Cerium OxideMulti Walled Carbon Nanotubes Zinc OxideSilver Nanoparticles Silicon DioxideIron Nanoparticles PolystyreneCarbon black DendrimersTitanium Dioxide Nanoclays (Crystalline Nanocellulose) OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials Priority Testing List
    • 17. Overthe product life cycle, environmentalexposuresbecomeless easily assessed and managed Level of exposure control RAW REUSE/ Process RECYCLE END OFMATERIALS PRODUCT Packaging USE DISPOSAL LIFE Number of potential receptors
    • 18. Working Party on Resource Productivity and Waste –May 2012 – First Meeting on “Nanowaste”• Definition – A term used to describe “by-products, emissions, fugitive emissions, contaminants and debris associated with nanomanufacturing processes, nanoproduct wear and tear, as well as end of lifecycle products and components containing nanostructured materials and nano-objects.”
    • 19. More specifically, OECD WPRPW, Scoping Paper on Nanowaste, 15 June 2011
    • 20. Points to Consider• Nomenclature is important.• In the big picture, do we care if waste is nanoscale or not?• What about nanoscale contaminants, debris and byproducts associated with manufacturing generally?*• How do we define the following terms? – “nanomanufacturing processes” – “nanoproducts”? – “nanostructured materials” and “nano-objects”?• A clear working definition of “nanowaste” is needed.• Worker safety must be first order priority.
    • 21. Current Activities (from OECD Survey)Activity CA DK FR FRG SL UK US EUBasic EHS research ✓ ✓ ? ? ✓ ✓ ✓ ?Waste specific research ✓ ? ✓ ✓ ?Survey of academic use of NMs ✗ ✗ ? ? ?Survey of industrial use of NMs ✗ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✗ ?“Nano” contemplated in current risk ✓ ? ? ? ✓assessment and managementLife Cycle Analysis/Nano Release ✓ ? ✓ ✓ ✓ ?Industrial Guidance ✗ ? ✓ ✓ ?Policy Framework Assessment ✗ ? ✓ ✓ ?Applicability of existing laws/regs ✓ ? ✓ ✓ ✓Government guidance ✗ ? ✓ ✓ ✓Legal/Regulatory Framework ✓ ? ? ✓ ?DevelopmentNano-specific laws/regs ✗ ? ? ✗ ✗ ? ✓ ?
    • 22. •Acetone• Arsenic• Arsine• Benzene• Cadmium• Hydrochloric Acid• Lead• Methyl Chloroform• Toluene•TrichlorethyleneR Chepesiuk, EHP, 107:9 Sept1999
    • 23. Proposed Criteria for Selection of PriorityMaterials for Nanowaste Risk Assessment• Current industrial use – Need to balance: • Method of production • Mass quantity produced • Perceived potential toxic effect(s) of process and product • Degree to which the material is free or bound in final product(s) • Anticipated life cycle of products into which the materials are expected to be incorporated• Current research focus + high potential for widespread industrial use
    • 24. Nanotechnology holds promise in key areasrelevant to waste issues• Precision manufacturing• Environmental remediation• Fundamental understanding of chemical and material interactions
    • 25. Nanotools for EnvironmentalRemediation• Nanoscale iron particles (and other tailored nanoscale materials) can provide cost-effective solutions to some of most challenging environmental challenges.• Large surface area and high surface reactivity• Provide flexibility for in situ application• Can be mounted on a solid matrix such as activated carbon and used to treat wastewater or gaseous process streams.• Effective transformation and detoxification of chlorinated organic solvents, pesticides and PCBs
    • 26. Environmental RemediationW. Zhang “Nanoscale Iron Particles for Environmental Remediation: AnOverview” (2003) 5 J. Nanoparticle Res. 323-332.
    • 27. A Controversial Application:Ocean Iron Fertilization
    • 28. Main Policy Challenge• Maintaining public trust• Expect that something will go wrong• Public trust is not unconditional• Strive to ensure that societal benefits are maximized and risks minimized in accordance with societal values.• To do this, education, engagement and communication strategies around EHS and the responsible development of nanotechnology are needed.
    • 29. Looking Ahead• Gaps exist in our understanding of the health, safety and environmental impacts ofnanomaterials but the gaps are narrowing.• It is important to remember that nanomaterial challenges are not distinct from the general challenges associated with chemicals.• Coordinated, strategic research is essential to develop the foundational knowledge that will empower the responsible development of key technologies.• Public trust in the scientific enterprise depends on a coherent and rational approach to stewardship.• National and international dialogue, cooperation and coordination is necessary to ensure that risks and benefits nanotechnology development are equitably shared.
    • 30. Acknowledgements• National Institute for Nanotechnology/University of Alberta• Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures• Environment Canada• Health Canada• OECD