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Tag Archives: nanotechnology

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). …

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.


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.


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.…

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.’"  …

University of California, San Francisco Publishes Nanotechnology Regulatory Policy Recommendations

The Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is part of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Services located in UCSF’s School of Medicine. PRHE just published its "Recommendations for Addressing Potential Health Risks from Nanomaterials in California” which was commissioned by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment  (OEHA).  The document is designed to provide the State with an overview of nanotechnology materials and their potential exposures and human health risks, and proposes a selection of policy options for addressing potential hazards and risks from nanotechnology.  We previously provided our comments on the May 2010 draft of this document here.  A year later, many of our same concerns still apply to the final document.

The new document makes a range of recommendations, which are set forth below:

Recommendations to address health risks from nanomaterials for OEHHA that can be achieved under the existing regulatory structure:

1. Develop a definition of nanomaterials that can be used to identify them.

2. Identify and define priority properties for risk characterization and collect information about them for each nanomaterial.

3. Develop characteristics by which to define, describe, and group nanomaterials according to conventional or unique properties.

4. Establish a publicly accessible clearinghouse and inventory of nanomaterial sources and products.

5. Identify and/or develop methods for monitoring nanomaterials in environmental media and through human biomonitoring.

6. Collect information on the fate and transport of nanomaterials, including through monitoring in environmental and biological media.…

EPA to Issue New Carbon Nanotube Significant New Use Rule

Here is an advance copy of a new multi-walled carbon nanotube significant new use rule being published tomorrow in the federal register.  It applies only to the specific carbon nanotubes that were the subject of PMN P-08-199, and binds anyone who intends to manufacture, import, or process the specific chemical substance.  It is largely consistent with past SNURs and Consent Orders for other CNTs.  For those wondering, "processors" and "processing" is broadly defined under TSCA.  It has been used in the past to include repackaging for commercial purposes, using the material in the manufacturing of new mixtures, and/or the production of articles using the substance.…

World’s Tiniest Guitar and Images

Nano Engineering Students Create World’s Smallest Images of Stephen Colbert


Two nanotechnology engineering students at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Canada, have created the world’s smallest images of comedian Stephen Colbert. The undergraduate students, John Maier and Erin Bedford, made the images using aluminum sputtered onto substrate through a photoresist mask. The smallest of the four images  is approximately 110 µm by 130 µm, while the largest measured 1.8 mm by 2.3 mm.


For more information, please visit


World’s Smallest Musical Instrument Created


Researchers at Cornell University have created the world’s smallest musical instrument—a miniature guitar measuring approximately 10 microns long with six strings that are each about 100 atoms wide—out of crystalline silicon. The guitar can only be played by targeting miniature lasers at the strings with an atomic force microscope, resulting in a 40 mergahertz signal measuring at 130,000 times higher than the sound of a full size guitar and one of the highest pitched tones ever recorded. The noise is inaudible to the human ear. The guitar, about the size of a human red blood cell, was created to advertise the great potential behind nanotechnology.


Nano TiO2 Cigarette Filters. Bad Idea?

The May 3, 2011 edition of Chemistry World carried an interesting article by James Urqhart — Titanate cigarette filter — regarding several Chinese researchers who have developed a cigarette filter which employs nanoscale TiO2 which supposedly filters out harmful tobacco smoke constituents.  One of the researchers claims that "[a] great range of harmful compounds including tar, nicotine, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, selected carbonyls and phenolic compounds can be reduced efficiently." 

The article also maintains that the researchers are "confident that titanate nanomaterials used in filters do not pose a health risk to smokers by inhalation" because "TiO2 is already widely used in consumer products including sunscreens, cosmetics and food."  Readers can judge the strength or weakness of this logic for themselves.

The article draws to mind Kent cigarettes with Micronite filters which were manufactured in the early to mid 1950s.  Believe it or not, these particular Kent cigarettes utilized crocidolite asbestos in their filters because of its unique filtering properties.  Readers can imagine the health-related lawsuits and judgments that followed.

Despite their unique filtering properties, mixing tobacco and engineered nanoscale materials in cigarette in this litigation environment is probably a bad idea.…

RTI International to Host Policy Forum on Regulation in the Nanotechnology Field


 On May 4, 2011, research institute RTI International will host a policy forum entitled, "Nanotechnology: The Huge Challenge of Regulating Tiny Technologies." The forum will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where experts will discuss the issues and concerns regarding the difficulties faced by agencies in drafting federal regulation and trying to keep pace with the rate of evolution in some areas in the field of nanotechnology. The forum will address regulations and public policies "needed to maximize the benefits of this emerging technology while minimizing the risks in order to encourage further development, scientific exploration, and responsible commercialization of this technology."


Participants include:



James "Jim" Trainham, PhD, Vice President, Strategic Energy Programs, RTI International


Jim Alwood, Toxic Substances Control Act Nanotechnology Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Cole Matson, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology at Duke University

Michele Ostraat, PhD, Senior Director, Center for Aerosol and Nanomaterials Engineering, RTI International

Sally Tinkle, PhD, Deputy Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office


Please visit the forum’s website for more information:…

Kadmon Pharmaceuticals and Nano Terra enter into exclusive licensing agreement for drug product candidates and drug discovery platform


Kadmon Pharmaceuticals LLC ("Kadmon"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines and therapies in the areas of oncology, infectious diseases, and immunology, has entered into an agreement with research and development company Nano Terra, Inc. ("Nano Terra"), whereby Kadmon would acquire Nano Terra’s perpetual, worldwide exclusive licenses to three novel, clinical stage product candidates and rights to its drug discovery platform, Pharmacomer Technology. Although specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the companies did note that the licenses for the product candidates and the Pharmacomer technology platform will be transferred to NT Life Sciences, a newly formed joint venture co-owned by the companies.


The product candidates and technology platform "focus on breakthroughs in the functionality of pharmaceuticals at the molecular level which enable the discovery of new, small molecule drugs optimized to meet the challenges of human physiology and to evade the early development challenges of traditional medicinal chemistry practices."…

Scientific Society Releases Position Statement Finding Use of Nanotechnology in Sunscreens to be Safe


The Nanodermatology Society ("NDA" or "the society"), an organization of doctors, scientists, and researchers, was founded with the mission to "promote a greater understanding of the scientific and medical aspects of nanotechnology in skin health and disease." The society recently addressed concerns about the use of nano materials to formulate nanoparticulate titanium dioxide and zinc for use in sunscreen. These ingredients are already common ingredients in sunscreens in their traditional forms. Upon a rigorous review of scientific literature and the latest safety data, the NDS reported in a position statement that the use of these nano materials in sunscreen was safe.  The statement noted that "[s]tudies of newer sunscreens [formulated with nanoparticles] show that they are either coated to minimize reactivity, clump in aggregates, or do not penetrate the skin." Other organizations have claimed that nano-based sunscreens are unsafe. NDS hopes that its position statement "[a]s the first of its kind to be released by a scientific society" will encourage more research in the nanotechnology arena.


The full text of the statement is available at…

Nanoscale Carbon Toxicity Testing Proposal Submitted to EPA



The NanoSafety Consortium for Carbon just submitted a proposed toxicity testing agreement to EPA under Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act covering a range of nanoscale materials including multi-walled carbon nanotubes, double-walled carbon nanotubes, single-walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene. 


Key elements for the curious:

  • The chemical substances to be tested may include representative (i) purified multi-walled carbon nanotubes ranging from 4 to 600 nanometers in diameter and less than 30 micrometers in length; (ii) purified double-walled carbon nanotubes ranging from 1.5 to 4 nanometers in diameter and less than 5 micrometers in length; (iii) purified single-walled carbon nanotubes ranging from .7 to 2 nanometers in diameter and less than 30 micrometers in length; and (iv) purified graphene nanoplatelets in flake/sheet form ranging from .5 nanometers to 100 nanometers thick. All test materials will be purified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to be at least 99 percent pure. Final test materials will be approved by the EPA and will be selected to adequately represent the constituency of the final signatories to the testing agreement.


  • The characteristic for which testing will be conducted is subchronic inhalation toxicity in rodents, or such other toxicity testing as may be approved by EPA to achieve the intent and purpose of the testing agreement. As appropriate, consideration will be given to using in vivo instillation rather than inhalation test methods. Test data will be developed under standards based on TSCA test guidelines in 40 CFR parts 796,

“The New Steel? Enabling the Carbon Nanomaterials Revolution: Markets, Metrology, Safety, and Scale-up”

“The New Steel? Enabling the Carbon Nanomaterials Revolution: Markets, Metrology, Safety, and Scale-up” is a workshop to be held on February 28th and March 1st, 2011, at NIST’s Gaithersburg, Maryland facility. NIST has assembled an outstanding roster of speakers from industry, academia and government to address the full spectrum of issues, including a special panel on EH&S.

If you can join the workshop, please register before the registry is filled! Remember that this will be a true workshop and participants are encouraged to actively share their views and perspectives over the two days, and also to provide if possible before the workshop commences a brief (2-page) white paper on one of the three breakout session topics, listed below, to help seed the discussions. If you prepare a white paper, please send it to

The three topic areas for the workshop breakout sessions:

• Technology Challenges and Barriers for Carbon-based Nanomaterials • EH&S – From Regulation to the Marketplace • Measurement Issues and Grand Challenges

NIST contact information is below if you have any questions or would like to receive more information regarding the workshop.

J. Alexander Liddle, Group Leader Nanofabrication Research Group Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology National Institute of Standards and Technology Bldg. 216 Rm. B153 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 6203 Gaithersburg, MD 20899-6203 tel: 301 975 6050 fax: 301 975 5314  …

ABA Program on Nano Governance

Presenting what looks to be a very interesting line-up of top-rate speakers, the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee) is presenting a webinar on January 27, 2011:

Nano Governance: The Current State of Federal, State, and International Regulation

Here is a summary of the webinar from ABA’s online announcement:

States, federal agencies, and foreign governments are challenged to address the risks and promote the benefits of evolving technologies, including nanotechnology. Companies globally are continuing to harness the properties of nanomaterials for use in products from airplanes to pharmaceuticals and from cosmetics to food packaging. Nano Governance: The Current State of Federal, State, and International Regulation will address these issues in a half-day program. This program will explore the new and creative applications of existing regulatory tools and governance approaches to address the potential risks of nanotechnologies, implement new risk assessment approaches to evolving technologies, and maximize the potential benefits of these materials. Panelists will report on new and emerging federal, State, and international nanomaterials regulations and governance strategies. Attendees will gain insight into potential public health and environmental impacts and the approaches various government agencies and industrial stakeholders are pursuing to address these issues while also promoting nanotechnology. The program is open to attorneys and other professionals with chemical regulatory compliance practices.

Educational Objectives:

  • Develop familiarity with new and emerging federal, State, and international nanomaterials regulations and governance strategies
  • Understand Potential Public Health and Environmental Impacts and the approaches various government

An Industry-Driven Approach to EHS Issues

My new Nanotechnology Law & Business article — "An Industry Driven Approach to EHS Issues: ‘The NanoSafety Consortium for Carbon’" — can be found here.  The abstract follows.

The NanoSafety Consortium for Carbon (NCC) is an industry-driven group formed to proactively address potential environmental, health, safety, and regulatory concerns related to the commercia-lization of its members’ nanoscale carbon products. NCC was formed to take advantage of an offer by the EPA for a consortium of companies to providing testing regarding carbon nanotube toxicity. This article provides background on NCC’s activities, purpose, and goals.…

New Nano-specific Regulations Forthcoming from U.S. EPA

This article originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

In its ongoing efforts to guard against potential unintended environmental, health, or safety injuries related to possible exposure to certain nanoscale materials, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to issue three new proposed nano-specific regulations in January 2011. While EPA is already actively regulating certain nanoscale materials which it considers new chemical substances (e.g./ carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, etc.), the new proposed rules will provide EPA with greater latitude in regulating both new and existing nanoscale materials. Manufacturers working with nanoscale materials should keep a very close eye on these new proposed regulations to determine whether they will be required to comply with any of EPA’s final rulings. Additionally, there will be opportunities for public comment and input.

Significant New Use Rule

Advocacy groups have been asking EPA for years to treat nanoscale versions of existing chemical substances as significant new uses of those substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These types of substances include nanoscale silver, nanoscale TiO2, and nanoscale zinc oxide. Among other things, treating these materials as significant new uses of existing chemical substances would allow EPA to limit their production, require the use of workplace safety measures, require companies to conduct toxicity testing, and require companies to prevent intentional/purposeful releases of the materials to water.

Although its exact parameters have not been released, it appears that EPA intends to issue a proposed significant new …

California Targets Nanoscale Metal Oxides and Quantum Dots for Data Call Ins

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (CDTSC) held a conference today during which they identified the next six nanoscale materials they intend to target in their second round of data call ins.  Regular readers may remember that CDTSC targeted 26 manufacturers/importers of carbon nanotubes with its first data call in in 2009. 

In addition to identifying the nanoscale materials which will be the subject of the data call in, CDTSC also provided a preliminary list of manufacturers/importers that will receive the data call in, as well as the proposed questions they will be asked.  We cover each material below.

CDTSC also indicated that carbon nanotube manufacturers/importers will receive a second round of data call in questions. 

CDTSC plans to issue all of these new data call ins sometime before the end of the year.  Stay tuned . . .

Nano Silver

Proposed Questions:  What is the chemical composition of your nanosilver material? What is particle size of your nanosilver material used? What is the concentration of nanosilver used in your material? What are the instrumental techniques used to characterize your nanosilver material?What are the analytical methods used in your nanosilver material? How do you measure and monitor fate and transport after useful life of your nanosilver material? How do you detect, measure and monitor releases during facility operations?

Preliminary Recipients:  Nano Composix, Cambrios Technologies, Seashell Technology, Sun Innovations, Stanford Materials, MTI Corporation.

Nano Zero Valent Iron

Proposed Questions:  What are the analytical methods for assessment of toxic effects and safe uses of nano zero valent iron across its …

Nanotechnology VI Symposium: ‘Progress in Protection’

Cal. DTSC and UCLA Present — Nanotechnology VI Symposium: ‘Progress in Protection’

This one-day workshop, on Wednesday, October 13, is sponsored by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control and UCLA. Leading scientists will discuss the latest strategies in protecting workers in the research, development and manufacturing of nanomaterials, and define further research and developmental needs relating to occupational safety and health.

Nanotechnology is an expanding field that has the potential to create many new materials and products with a huge range of applications. It is already being used in cell phones, stain-resistant clothes, cosmetics, disease detection and in medicine. Business projections suggest that nanotechnology could be a $1 trillion industry in the US by 2015.

Registration for this free conference and webcast is required. 

The program presenters are leaders in university research, manufacturing and industry. They include:


Maziar Movassaghi, Acting Director, California Department of Toxic Substance Control

Andre Nel, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Division of NanoMedicine, California NanoSystmes Institute; Director, UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

Mark Methner, Ph.D., CIH, Team Leader NIOSH Nanotechnology Field Research Team

Hilary Godwin, Ph.D. Professor, UCLA School of Public Health – Environmental Health Sciences; Education Director, UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology


Wednesday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


UCLA California Nano Systems Institute. 570 Westwood Plaza, Building 114. Los Angeles CA 90095. Parking available on the UCLA campus $10. For more information contact: Teresa Lara, UCLA Luskin Center, (310) 267-5435 or Charlotte Fadipe, DTSC, …

Massachusetts Issues Nano-EHS Guidance Document

This article originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website on August 25, 2010.  It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Massachusetts’ Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) recently released its “OTA Technology Guidance Document: Nanotechnology – Considerations for Safe Development” which has been in development for the past couple of years. The document begins by noting the tremendous positive influence nanotechnology is predicted to have in the fields of biomedical devices, electronics, clean energy, and materials engineering, while at the same time acknowledging that “there are indications of potential harm from certain exposures and release of engineered nanoparticles.” OTA also believes that there “is little uncertainty” regarding available means to prevent potential workplace exposure to nanoscale materials. Simply put, despite unknown EHS risks, there is more than adequate knowledge to control potential exposure in OTA’s view.

The end of the report contains a bibliography of existing resources covering state-of-the-art workplace good practices for nanoscale materials. The bibliography includes the “usual suspect” documents and websites published by NIOSH, ICON, German government, British Standards Institute, ED/DuPont, NanoSafe, and ASTM. From these primary sources, OTA distills a basic set of good practices for entities working with nanoscale materials in Massachusetts.

First, establish a risk reduction plan for facilities working with nanoscale materials. Such a plan should have two levels. First, it should attempt to protect against direct and immediate worker exposure. Second, it should also attempt to protect against possible releases during transport, use, and disposal after the …

National Nanotechnology Innovation Summit


A National Nanotechnology Innovation Summit to mark the 10th anniversary of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) will be held December 8-10, 2010 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. The Nano Science and Technology Institute (NTSI) will join with the White House Office of Science & Technology (OSTP), the Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) and the National Venture Capital Association (NCVA) to organize the event. Launched in 2001, the NNI is a federal program which serves as the coordinating body for 25 federal agencies which conduct nanotechnology research and development. The Summit will be a forum for the nation’s top nanotechnology researchers, investors, policy makers, and developers to join in recognition of the NNI’s efforts in the field over the past ten years. More information and registration details are available at:  …

Wisconsin Legislature to Study Potential Regulation of Nanomaterials

Following California’s lead, Wisconsin’s legislature recently formed a special committee to study the potential regulation of nanomaterials from an environmental, health, and safety perspective.   Our readers will be interested in the committee’s membership and focus:

Special Committee on Nanotechnology Chair: Rep. Chuck Benedict Vice Chair: Sen. Mark Miller Legislative Council Staff: Mary Matthias, Pam Shannon, and Larry Konopacki Member List

The Special Committee is directed to examine the human health and environmental concerns related to the manufacture, use, and disposal of nanomaterials and develop legislation to address these concerns. In particular, the Special Committee shall consider the establishment of methods to monitor nanomaterials by use of a nanotechnology registry system or the imposition of other disclosure requirements. The Special Committee shall also develop strategies to facilitate the development of nanotechnology to create and retain jobs in Wisconsin, including ways in which government can help nanotechnology researchers, small firms, and start-ups address potential risks and meet regulatory requirements.  

You can find prior articles about Wisconsin’s prior efforts here and here.  The committee’s first meeting appears to be scheduled for September 2010.…

Nanotechnology Law, 2010 edition

Here is a bit of shameless self-promotion.  The 2010 edition of my book — "Nanotechnology Law" — has just been published by West/Thomson/Reuters.  You can find it here.  Please pass the word.