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U.K. Providing Funding for Nanotech Innovations in Healthcare

Earlier this month, the U.K.’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) announced that they would be providing grants totalling over £6.5 million ($10,285,345.31) to

seven business-led projects that will focus on developing therapeutic agents and diagnostics where nanoscale technologies are at the heart of the innovation.

The aim of the investment is to help ensure that the UK can become an early competitive adopter of these novel technologies and rapidly meet the urgent and difficult challenges posed within the worldwide healthcare sector, by translating world-class early stage ideas from academia and commercialising them through building supply chains with innovative businesses.

The funding is conditional, subject to compliance and financial reviews by EPSRC and TSB. The U.K. views this funding as actively supporting growth in the British economy through healthcare technologies.

The companies involved in these projects are:

Critical Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Johnson Matthey plc

 Mologic Ltd

Nanomerics Ltd

OJ-Bio Ltd

Renishaw Diagnostics Ltd

Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd., a subsidiary of Sharp Corporation of Japan.

A list of the projects funded by the grants may be found here.

The NanoRelease Project

The January 23, 2012 issue of Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Environment Report carried an article (Repoduced with permission from Daily Environment Report, 13 DEN A-11, 1/23/2012. Copyright -2012 by the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc (800-372-1033 http://www/bna.com) "Government, Industry, advocacy Groups Work on Carbon Nanotube Release Measures" that focused on the work of the NanoRelease Project. As noted on its website, the NanoRelease Project’s purpose is to "foster the safe development of nanomaterials by supporting development of methods to understand the release of nanomaterials used in products."

Objectives:

  • Provide focus to broad policy debates by working through scenarios under which specific engineered nanomaterials might be released from products;

  • Examine the full life cycle of products that might act to release nanomaterials;

  • Catalogue and disseminate published and unpublished data and methods (that meet minimum criteria) used to evaluate release scenarios;
  • Develop “state of the science” reports about release measurement for the specific material types chosen that describe what is known and what research gaps exist; and
  • Enable improvements, standardization, and widespread use of methods by carrying out tests using reference nanomaterial-matrix and positive controls in a “round robin” or similar approach.

The NanoRelease Project is overseen by a Steering Committee composed of "Government officials, chemical manufacturers, and representives of labor and consumer advocacy groups." Among the members of the Steering Committee is John Monica, Jr, a partner in the DC office of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur LLP.

As the article notes, Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are currently incorporated into a …

International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology to be held March 2012

The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, in a "Notice of Public Meeting" published in the Federal Register of 02/02/2012, announced that on March 27-28 of this year, it would be holding an "International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology". The symposium, organized by the National Nanotechnology Initiative and theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The symposium will be hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC on March 27th and 28th from 8:30AM to 6PM.

The symposium will focus on

the scope of economic impacts of nanotechnology, input and output factors, metrics for other technological assessments, and consideration of the appropriateness of these metrics for nanotechnology materials and products. Topics addressed will include the role of research funding portfolios, intellectual property frameworks, venture capital, public-private partnerships, state and local initiatives, international cooperation, and metrics such as private sector and industry investments, patents and publications, and the development of a technologically-educated workforce as metrics for nanotechnology.

Confirmed as speakers at the symposium are:

  • Françoise Roure, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

  • Gregory Tassey, National Institute of Standards and Technology, United States

  • Mark Morrison, Institute for Nanotechnology, United Kingdom

  • Adalberto Fazzio, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil

  • Kazunobu Tanaka, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan

  • Altaf Carim, Office of Science and Technology Policy, United States

  • Herbert von Bose, European Commission

  • Joseph Molapisi, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

  • GV Ramaraju, Department of Information Technology, India

  • Tom Crawley, Spinverse

  • Philip Shapira,

Knights of the Nano Table

Among the United Kingdom’s many traditions is the Queen’s New Year’ Honors List, a list of politicians, actors, writers and others awarded with knighthoods for distinguished services in fields ranging from charitable work to business to acting. Among this years honorees are Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both of the University of Manchester.

As noted here in October 2010, Professors Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of graphene.

The two new knights join Sir Mark Edward Welland, head of theUniversity of Cambridge’s Nanoscience Centre, in being honored for their contributions to the fields of nanotechnology and nanoparticle research. Sir Mark’s knighthood was discussed here inJune 2011.

According to a press release on the University of Manchester’s site, Professor Geim seemed to be taking his knighthood in stride:

Professor Geim said: “In my life, I have got used to being called four-letter names. Going down to three is a completely new experience which I will hopefully enjoy.”

Rule Britannia.

International Center for Technology Assessment et al v. Hamburg

On December 21, 2011, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), along with fellow plaintiffs Friends of the Earth (FOE), the Center for Environmental Health, Food and Water Watch, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration filed a complaint in the US District Court for the District of Norther California against Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requesting that "this Court enter an Order:

 

(1) Declaring that the Defendants have violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to respond to the 2006 Petition within a reasonable time;

(2) Declaring that the Defendants continue to be in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to respond to the 2006 Petition;

(3) Ordering Defendants to respond to the 2006 Petition as soon as reasonably practicable"

In May of 2006, ICTA filed a "Petition Requesting FDA Amend Its Regulations for Products Composed of Engineered Nanoparticles Generally and Sunscreen Drug Products Composed of Engineered Nanoparticles Specifically". The petition requested "that the Commissioner undertake the following actions with regards to all nanomaterial products:

1) Amend FDA regulations to include nanotechnology definitions necessary to properly regulate nanomaterial products . . . .

2) Issue a formal advisory opinion explaining FDA’s position regarding engineered nanoparticles in products regulated by FDA.

3) Enact new regulations directed at FDA oversight of nanomaterial products establishing and requiring . . .that: nanoparticles be treated as new substances; nanomaterials be subjected to nano-spefic paradigms of …

Nanotech brings new investment to upstate New York

In the midst of "The Great Recession" the last month’s announcement  by Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York that a consortium composed of IBM, Intel, Samsung Electronics US, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and Globalfoundries, will be investing $4.4 billion over five years to create R&D facilities in Albany, Utica, and other cities in upstate New York, for the purpose of applying nanotechnology to manufacture smaller and more efficent computer chips (nanochips).

This investment also means that over 2500 existing jobs will remain in New York and 2500 new jobs will be created directly by the consortium, slong with an estimated 1900 construction jobs that will be created to renovate existing and to construct new facilities.

To help support the R&D work, the state government of New York will direct $400 million, also over a five year period, to SUNYCollege of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. In addition, it is expected that further investment and job creation will result from the purchase of goods and services by the members of the consortium from local businesses.

Although the announcement was greeted with praise by the Business Council of New York State, it was greeted with more cautious optimism by the local newspaper and by local government officials.

If at first you don’t succeed . . . .

Congress returns to Washington  from the August recess this week and among the bills that may come up for consideration between now and the end of the 1st session of the 112th Congress is H.R. 2359, the "Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011", introduced by Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL-9th) on June 24, 2011 and subsequently referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and Education and the Workforce.

As that noted philosopher, wordsmith, catcher and manager of the New York Yankees and the New York MetsLawrence "Yogi" Berra once expressed, "It’s deja vu all over again."

H.R. 2359 is an only slightly changed version of H.R. 5786, the "Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010", introduced by Rep. Schakowsky on July 20, 2010 and referred to the same House Committees (the House Committee on Education and the Workforce was then known as the House Committee on Education and Labor) and discussed here on July 26, 2010.

The language affecting nanoparticles in cosmetics, section 613 in H.R. 2359, is the same as it was in section 618 of the previous bill:

SEC. 613. INGREDIENTS LABELS ON COSMETICS

 

    `(d) Labeling of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics- The Secretary may require that–

 

    `(1) minerals and other particulate ingredients be labeled as `nano-scale’ on a cosmetic ingredient label or list if not less than 1 percent of the ingredient particles in the cosmetic are 100 nanometers or smaller in not less than 1 dimension; and

 

    `(2) other ingredients in

Danish EPA Releases Report on Environmental & Health Risks for Selected Nanoparticles

Denmark’s Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA)  recently released "Survey on basic knowledge about exposure and potential environmental and health risks for selected nanoparticles". The survey was written by Sonja Hagen Mikkelsen, Erik Hansen and Trine Boe Christensen of COWI A/S, Anders Baun and Steffen Foss Hansen of DTU Environment and Mona-Lise Binderup of DTU Food, all working under contract with DEPA.

Noting that "There is no single source of information that provides an overview of nanomaterials and products in Denmark or in the EU for that matter",

DEPA has therefore initiated this project to provide an overview of the existing knowledge about seven of the most common nanomaterials, their environmental and health properties, the use of those nanomaterials and the possibility of exposure of humans and the environment.

The seven nanomaterials selected as the focus of the survey are

1 – Titanium dioxide

2 – Cerium dioxide

3- Fullerenes (aka carbon balls or ‘buckeyballs")

4- Nanosilver

5- Zero-valent iron

6 – Silicium dioxide

7 – Nanoclay

These nanomaterials were selected based on

1- Application volums

2- Potential human exposure

3- Potential direct discharge into the environment

4 – Expected biological effect (human and/or environment), persistence or bioaccumultion

The authors of the survey developed "profiles" for the nanomaterials, focusing on " the general characteristics and manufacture of the nanomaterial, their current uses (mainly focused at consumer products) and hazard profiles (ecotoxicity and human toxicity) . . . . The profiles included sections discussing relevant exposures from consumer products and considerations regarding the …

The NANO Act

Prior to Congress adjournment for the traditional August recess, Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15th-D) introduced H.R. 2749, "The Nanotechnology Advancement and New Opportunities (NANO) Act", described by Rep. Honda as ". . .a comprehensive bill to promote the development and responsible stewardship of nanotechnology in the United States . . . .[drawing] upon th work of the Bluee Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology . . . " convened by Rep. Honda and then California State Controller Steve Westly in 2004. H.R.2749 includes some of the recommendations offered by the Task Force in their report, "Thinking Big About Thinking Small: An Action Agenda for California", released in 2005.

According to Rep. Honda’s remarks of August 1,2011

. . . the bill addresses concerns that have been raised about whether the Federal Government is doing enough to address potential health and safety risks associated with nanotechnology. The NANO Act requires the development of a nanotechnology research strategy that establishes research priorities for the Federal Government and industry that will ensure the development and responsible stewardship of nanotechnology. This strategy will help to resolve the uncertainty that is one of the major obstacles to the commercialization of nanotechnology–uncertainty about what the risks might be and uncertainty about how the Federal Government might regulate nanotechnology in the future.

  • The NANO Act also includes a number of provisions to create partnerships, raise awareness, and implement strategic policies to resolve obstacles and promote nanotechnology. It will: create a public-private investment partnership to address the nanotechnology commercialization gap; establish

EPA Extends comment period

Wednesday’s Federal Register carried a notice from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extending the comment period for proposed methods of collecting information regarding the use of nanoscale materials in pesticides published in the Federal Register of June 17, 2011. The original deadline for submitting comments was July 18, 2011. The deadline for submission has been extended to august 17, 2011.

The 30 day extension was requested by four commenters – Croplife America, a trade group repsenting " the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States", the American Chemical Council, the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association, a trade group "representing the interests of generic pesticide registrants, with a membership that includes manufacturers, formulators, and distributors of pesticide products", and theInternational Center for Technology Assessment, "a non-profit, bi-partisan organization committed to providing the public with full assessments and analyses of technological impacts on society". The comments may beviewed on Regulations.gov.

Information on submitting comments is available from either the original notice or the notice published on Wednesday.…

Adjusting the picture: LCDs and Quantum Dots

An article, "Dotting the Eyes" published in the June 16, 2011 issue of The Economist, noted something that many of us who spend a good part of their day looking into Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screens, such as the monitor for the pc that I’m writing this on or the one you’re reading it on, have long known – the color range is very limited. Jason Hartlove, President and CEO of California based Nanosys, believes his company may have found a way to expand the color range available to LCDs, using plastic sheets coated with quantum dots that his company manufactures. which – according to the Nanosys website – enables

 LCDs to display about 50% more color than they can today. This means richer, more viscerally alive reds, a deeper palette of greens (the color the human eye sees more intensely than any other color) and vivid blues. Browsing through photos on a tablet is now more like holding a stack of high quality, professional prints. Watching a movie on a big screen in the living room is more akin to attending a private screening at a Hollywood studio.

Other companies, such as Samsung Electronics and QD Vision of Massachusetts, have also begun to design, test and market their own products with the same goal as Nanosys – using quantum dots to improve the picture quality and color range of LCDs, efficently and at low cost.…

Nanotechnology Law — New 2011 Edition

The new 2011 edition of Nanotechnology Law published by West/Thomson/Reuters is now out.  I update the book every year and the new edition has lots of new stuff.  They make excellent Christmas and Birthday gifts, and are a general cure for insomnia.  All proceeds go to my underprivileged daughters’ college fund.  Everyone should have one (or two). …

Senate Hearing on The National Nanotechnology Investment: Manufacturing, Commercialization and Job Creation”

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Science and Space will be holding a hearing at 10AM on Thursday July 14, "The National Nanotechnology Investment: Manufacturing, Commercialization and Job Creation",

As the Commerce Committee considers a reauthorization of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the hearing will examine the potential of nanotechnology, federal initiatives to coordinate research investments, barriers to commercialization, possible environmental and health risks, and steps Congress can take to improve the return on federal nanotechnology investments.

Appearing before the Subcommittee are the following witnesses:

  • Dr. Chad A. Mirkin Director, International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University Member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

  • Dr. Charles (Chuck) H. Romine Acting Associate Director, Laboratory Programs, and Principal Deputy, Office of the Director National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Director, West Virginia Nano Initiative Professor of Physics, West Virginia University

  • Dr. Thomas O’Neal Associate Vice President for Research and Commercialization, University of Central Florida Executive Director, University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program

  • Dr. George L. McLendon Howard R. Hughes Provost and Professor of Chemistry Rice University

 

The hearing will also be webcast on the Committee’s website. The witnesses prepared statements will be posted to the Subcommittee’s site the day of the hearing.…

New Nanoscale Carbon Website — CNT Report

Readers may be interested in learning about a new subscription website devoted to nanoscale carbon — CNT Report

CNT Report is dedicated to bringing its readers the most recent news concerning important issues affecting nanoscale carbon research, development, and commercialization.  CNT Report closely covers all forms of nanoscale carbon in development on the global stage, including CNTs, graphene, fullerenes, specialty fibers, and all else in-between.  CNT Report’s primary focus is on new scientific research developments, practical applications, finance, legal and regulatory issues, and general commercialization.   CNT Report publishes news in several broad categories including: Business, Commercialization,  Finance & Deals, Insurance, Intellectual Property, International Laws & Regulations, Policy, Standards, States, Science, Applications, Current Research, and Environmental, Health and Safety.

CNT Report also accepts press releases, research results, financial news, or any other news item related to nanoscale carbon which it then makes available to all of its subscribers.  CNT Report welcomes timely contributions from its readers and makes sure that their articles receive proper attribution and credit.

 …

FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act: The Senate Version

On June 17, 2011, the Senate Committee on Armed Services announced that S. 1253, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012 had been passed unanimously and had been reported out of Committee and sent on to the Senate for debate.

S. 1253 provided $200 million in funding for the "Rapid Innovation Program" established by PL 111-383, the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.  $50 million of this is directed to the development of advanced materials, including nanomaterials, as described in S. Report 112-26

    2. Developing advanced materials: $50.0 million for increased investment in a broad range of materials technologies, both organic and inorganic, that can provide enhanced performance in extreme environments; enhanced strength and reduced weight for the spectrum of applications from aerospace to lighter soldier loads; enhanced survivability of ground, air, and naval systems; and tailored physical, optical, and electromagnetic properties for a wide variety of the challenging environments and unique properties demanded of military systems. Such materials could include advanced composites and metals, nanomaterials, and rare-earth alternatives. Investments could also address new techniques for manufacturing and processing these materials, including advancements in forming, joining, and machining. Whether increasing survivability or improving fuel efficiency for greater performance, advanced materials are a foundational enabling component of military systems across all services and all warfighting domains;

S. Rept. 112-26 also contains the following language, which doesnot appear in S. 1253 as reported:

Nanotechnology research

The Department of Defense (DOD) is one of 25 federal agencies that are part of the National Nanotechnology …

EPA Requests Public Comment on Obtaining Information Regarding Nanomaterials in Pesticides

On June 17, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it was seeking "comment on several possible appraoches for obtaining information about what nanoscale materials are present in registered pesticide products. . .  . and its potential effects on humans or the environment. . . ."

Under one approach to collecting this information, EPA would use the authority granted to it by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,and Rodenticide Act  (FIFRA) to require applicants to "provide any factual information of which [the applicant] is aware regarding unreasonable adverse effects of the pesticide on man and the environment". If EPA adopts this approach, it would require the inclusion of "such information with applications for registrations of pesticides or pesiticide products containing ‘nanoscale materials’".

Under a different section of FIFRA, EPA would gather information using Data Call-In notices.

EPA is required to collect information regarding pesticides under section 3(a) of FIFRA. Using the information collected, EPA can then determine

1) the validity of the products claims

2) that labelling complies with FIFRA requirements

3) that the pesticide or pesticide product will not cause unreasonably adverse harm to humans or the environment.

EPA "believes that certain information concerning pesticide ingredients" – in this case, nanoscale materials, defined by EPA as (1) between 1 and 100 nanometers, (2) " exhibit unique and novel properties compared to larger particlesof the same material" and (3) has been manufactured or engineered at the nanoscale level to take advantage of those unique or novel properties …

The Nano-Knight

As part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Official Birthday, Buckingham Palace released the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Among those honored with a knighthood was Professor Mark Edward Welland of the University of Cambridge, where he heads the Nanoscience Centre and also currently serves as Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence. Professor Welland is also the former editor of Nanotechnology, published by the Institute of Physics.

Professor Welland’s knighthood is in recognition of a distinguised career in science and teaching. The rank is that of a Knight Bachelor, which has nothing to do with his marital status, but instead indicates that he is not a member of one of the Chivalric Orders, such as the Order of the British Emprire or the Order of the Garter.…

OECD Issues Guide to Current Developments on the safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials

As a follow-up to and outgrowth of the June 2005 OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides, and Biotechnology, the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) was established in September 2006, with the mission of helping "member countries efficently address the safety challenges of nanomaterial".

Presented at the WPMN’s March 2011 meeting, "Current Developments/Activities on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials" ". . .is intended to provide delegations and other stakeholders with a "snapshot" of information on activities related to manufactured nanomaterials, as well as other activities . . . at the national and international level".

The "snapshot" consists of two sections; section I, "Recent and Planned National Activities in Chemical Regulatory Area on Health and Environmental Safety Aspects of Manufactured Nanomaterials" and section II, "Current Activities in Other Organisations Related to Nanotechnologies/Nanomaterials". Section I is the larger of the two sections, focusing on the written reports that members of the OECD submitted to the WPMN. From the length and depth of these reports, it is easy to gauge which nations are actively involved in nanomaterials research, development and can be judged to have a fairly well developed nanoindustrial segment to their national economies. Australia, for example, submitted a five and a half page report discussing what the government and regulatory agencies have done and plan to do in the future to insure that facilities manufacturing nanomaterials reduce the levels of worker exposure, possible impact on the environment, etc, while Belgium’s report, …

White House Issues Nanotechnology EHS Policy Statement

One June 9, the President’s Office of Budget and Management, United States Trade Representative, and Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a joint memorandum directed to all Executive branch departments and agencies entitled "Policy Principles for the U.S. Decision-Making Concerning Regulation and Oversight of Applications ofNanotechnology and Nanomaterials."

The Policy Statement is important because it confirms a "best-science" approach to potential nano-EHS issues, rather than a reactionary approach.  While this has been the stated approach of various federal agencies in the past, it is nice to see it reaffirmed across the entire federal government at the highest levels. The memorandum also reaffirms the importance of nanotechnology to the US economy, and recognizes the potential adverse economic consequences that knee-jerk regulation might have. 

Perhaps most interesting is that the memorandum repeatedly refers to the sufficiency of existing regulations to deal with potential nano-related EHS risks.  Some advocacy groups may have been holding out hope that the Obama administration would enact new nano-specific regulations. That is very doubtful given the tenor of the memorandum, which should provide industry with a measure of reassurance in this regard.

 …

Nanotechnology and the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act

The Senate returned from its Memorial Day recess this week. Among the bills that it may begin debating is H.R. 1540, the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Introduced by Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA-25th), Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services , on 04/14/2011, HR 1540 was amended during a "markup" session of the Committee on 05/17/2011. During this session, amendments offered by Rep. Nikki Tsongas (D-MA-5th)  (Sec. 1638)and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY-20th), (Sec. 1647) were adopted:

 

SEC. 1638. BUDGET ITEM RELATING TO MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY.

 

    (a) Additional, Discretionary Budget Authority- In the budget submitted to Congress under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for fiscal year 2012, the President requested $30,258,000 for Materials Technology. Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated by section 201, as specified in the corresponding funding table in division D, the Secretary of the Army shall obligate an additional $4,000,000 to develop innovative nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing processes for warfighter systems in furtherance of national security objectives.

SEC. 1647. BUDGET ITEM RELATING TO UNIVERSITY RESEARCH INITIATIVES.

 

    (a) Additional, Discretionary Budget Authority- In the budget submitted to Congress under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for fiscal year 2012, the President requested $80,977,000 for research, development, test, and evaluation, Army, for university research initiatives. Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated by section 201, as specified in the corresponding funding table in division D, the Secretary of Defense shall obligate an additional $7,000,000 for multidisciplinary research

2011 TAPPI International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials

Running from June 6 to June 8, 2011 at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington Virginia, the 2011 TAPPI Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials will focus on the theme of Nanotechnology for a Sustainable Future. Speakers will give presentations on subjects including :

-Importance of Nanotechnology/Nanomaterials to the Forest Products Industry of the 21st Century

– Nanocellulose research

– Production of renewable nanomaterials

Seperate from, but related to the TAPPI Conference, is a workshop on international standards for Nanocellulose. to be held on June 9th. Further information on the conference, workshop and how to register, is available at the websites.

 …

OSHA Official Says Employee Exposure to Nanomaterials Has Never Led to Citation by Agency

 

An official at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") stated recently that the agency has never cited an employer for exposing workers to nanomaterials. OSHA remains focused on prevention and the development of guidance measures to stop exposures before they happen. Moreover, because the agency is aware that workers can be exposed to nanomaterials at every step in the development of products containing the compounds, it is taking steps to ensure that there are mitigation techniques at every level, including from the manufacture of the raw materials, the products themselves, and in the recycling of nanomaterials. OSHA is currently working with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ("NIOSH") to draft guidance materials for employers to use, including a safety and health fact sheet focusing on how to limit nanoparticle exposure.…

S.847: The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

Senator Lautenberg:This isn’t a reorganization of the way we function here. It is to be another version of TSCA, far less harmful but having a law that does cover the bases.

Introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) on 04/14/2011, S. 847, the "Safe Chemicals Act of 2011", is the third bill introduced in the last two years with the intent of reforming and strengthening the Toxic Substances Cotrol Act . S. 3209, the "Safe Chemicals Act of 2010", also introduced by Senator Lautenberg, and H.R. 5820, the "Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010", introduced by Representives Bobby L. Rush (D-IL-1st) and Henry Waxman (D-CA-30th), were intoduced during the 2nd Session of the 111th Congress, but died in committee when the 111th Congress adjourned sine die.

As was noted by a witness at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Publicworks Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health Subcommittee on 02/04/2011

. . . while TSCA was an important step when it was first passed in 1976, it is the only major environmental statute that has not been reauthorized since its initial passage. TSCA is clearly showing its age and its limitations.

A recent article in Pediatrics discusses the limitations of TSCA in greater detail than is possible in this posting.

S. 847 would amend TSCA in several ways.

1- Manufacturers and processors would be required to

submit the minimum data set for the chemical substance to the Administrator–

 

    `(A) for new chemical substances, concurrent with the notice required under

Are Major Food Companies Backing Away from Engineered Nanoscale Materials?

A food safety strategist for "As You Sow" recently indicated that the group is conducting a survey "of a wide selection of food manufacturers and retailers regarding their use of nanomaterials in food products."  The group is also creating a "Nanofood Sourcing Framework" designed to guide food-related companies on the issues they should be considering before using engineered nanoscale materials in their products.

Interestingly, the strategist asked some major food-related corporations about their use of engineered nanoscale materials and believes that companies are "taking a precautionary approach."  Evidently, McDonald’s, Pepsi, and Kraft all claim to be "nano-free." McDonald’s has an interesting post about the issue on its website:

McDonald’s Corporation is working to understand the use of nanotechnology and its applications in food and packaging products. Given the current uncertainty related to potential impacts of nano-engineered materials, McDonald’s does not currently support the use by supplies of nano-engineered materials in the production of any of our food, packaging or toys.

Regarding Kraft, the strategist wrote that Kraft "first posted a statement on their website in 2009 announcing that they are not using nanotechnology, although they did admit to be exploring nano applications for packaging. Two year later, Food Production Daily reports that ‘Kraft is one company to have taken a deliberate step away from the emerging technology.’"  …

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