NanoRelease was started in 2010 to develop self-governed consortia of experts from government, industry, and consumer safety organizations to discuss what we need to know about the measurement of released nanomaterials from consumer products. The goal was to initiate development of nanomaterial release measurement methods within a transparent and trusted process. The activities of two consortia with independent steering committees were supported with funding raised from government, industry, and private foundation sources in US and Canada. So far the project has produced 6 workshops, over a dozen task groups, 16 papers by nearly 60 independent experts, and coordinated methods development work in laboratories around the world.
What we have all done
January 20, 2017 – NanoRelease Data Hub – public release of data from the weathering module of NanoRelease Consumer Products
The Sanding Module presentation was given by NIST expert Keana Scott
One of two Weathering Module presentations was given by BASF expert Wendel Wohlleben
Listing of publications for NanoRelease Consumer Products can be found here
Listing of publications for NanoRelease Food Additive can be found here
In 2017 experts of NanoRelease lead an effort with several other consortia activities with similar goals to develop a Technical Report with the intention of capturing current understanding of nanomaterial release from products in commerce. An international group of experts was assembled, many hoops jumped through, and the first internal drafts of that document are now in review by ISO committees in preparation for the 2018 ISO TC229 meeting in Kuala Lumpur. The project group is PG29 and can be explored (and hopefully the full document soon).
In general terms, the multi-nation/stakeholder/discipline consortium approach of the NanoRelease project was useful in developing broad consensus on the state of the science for measuring what is being emitted from use of nanomaterials in commercial products. Extended discussions by leading experts over several years in consideration of methods needs and in development of specific methods was very useful in building trust across stakeholders and in identifying areas of strength and weakness in current risk management capabilities.
Through the many workshops, webinars, conference calls, and publications of the project, participants reached general agreement that much of the current research literature regarding hazard of nanomaterials does not appear to be related to what is being emitted from actual uses of nanomaterials. The fact that this agreement seems a common assumption among experts in the field now may be a result of the broad impact of the project and discussions across so many groups within it.
Furthermore, the NanoRelease Consumer Products Steering Committee and participants agreed through actions taken in the project that the first step to bridging the gap between hazard literature and understanding of exposure to nanomaterials is to agree to sampling methods that can be used to determine what materials are released to exposure pathways from uses of nanomaterials.
With nanomaterial risk management it is becoming increasingly apparent that transformations during fabrication and release from uses require the addition of an Exposure Identification step in parallel with traditional Hazard Identification step of risk assessment, preceding Hazard Assessment, Exposure Assessment, and Risk Characterization. The exposure identification step is needed to identify the possibility of exposure to the nanomaterial forms for which hazard has been identified. Nanomaterials that are put into materials used in commerce are frequently transformed by the use so that the hazard information for pristine nanomaterials is not informative to risk management of MN after use in commerce.