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Proceedings Paper

Environmental, health, and safety effects of engineered nanomaterials: challenges and research needs
Author(s): Howard Fairbrother
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Paper Abstract

The number of technologies and consumer products that incorporate engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) has grown rapidly. Indeed, ENMs such as carbon nanotubes and nano-silver, are revolutionizing many commercial technologies and have already been incorporated into more than 800 commercial products, including polymer composites, cell phone batteries, sporting equipment and cosmetics. The global market for ENMs has grown steadily from $7.5 billion in 2003 to $12.7 billion in 2008. Over the next five years, their market value is expected to exceed $27 billion. This surge in demand has been responsible for a corresponding increase in the annual production rates of ENMs. For example, Bayer anticipates that single and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT and MWNT) production rates will reach 3,000 tons/yr by 2012. Inevitably, some of these synthetic materials will enter the environment either from incidental release during manufacture and transport, or following use and disposal. Consequently, intense scientific research is now being directed towards understanding the environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks posed by ENMs. I will highlight some of the key research challenges and needs in this area, include (i) developing structure-property relationships that will enable physicochemical properties of ENMs to be correlated with environmentally relevant behavior (e.g. colloidal properties, toxicity), (ii) determining the behavior of nanoproducts, and (iii) developing analytical techniques capable of detecting and quantifying the concentration of ENMs in the environment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7666, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IX, 766618 (5 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.853120
Show Author Affiliations
Howard Fairbrother, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7666:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IX
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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