Nanosafety Newsletter n°57 (April 9, 2012)

News & Reports

SCENIHR request for a scientific opinion: Health effects of nanomaterials used in Medical Devices

In light of the expected increase in the application of nanotechnologies to medical devices, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) is requested to provide a risk assessment of medical devices containing nanomaterials. This evaluation shall take into account different categories of medical devices such as:
a. Non-invasive medical devices, e.g. devices coming into contact with the intact skin,
b. Invasive devices (surgical or not), e.g.:
- woundcare materials,
- implantable medical devices,
- dental and bone fillings and cements,
- injectable nanomaterials.
In this assessment, where relevant, the SCENIHR is invited to differentiate between free, fixed, and encapsulated nanomaterials. Deadline is March 2013.

ECHA submits new draft appendices for guidance on information requirements and chemical...

... safety assessment concerning nanomaterials

Three new draft appendices for guidance on information requirements and chemical safety assessment regarding nanomaterial have been sent to the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (CARACAL), the expert group which advises the European Commission and ECHA on questions related to REACH and CLP.

The three appendices concerning information requirements (appendices to R7a, R7b and R7c) have been developed in order to provide advice to registrants for use when preparing registration dossiers for nanomaterials. The content of the appendices implements the advice provided by the REACH Implementation Project on Nanomaterials 2 (RIP-oN2) on specific aspects of information requirements concerning materials in nano form...


EPA Promulgates SNUR for Infused Carbon Nanostructures

On April 4, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated, through a direct final rule, significant new use rules (SNUR) for 17 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). This includes a SNUR for “infused carbon nanostructures (generic).” According to EPA, the PMN states that the generic (non-confidential) use of the substance is as an additive to provide conductive properties to reinforcements used in composites. EPA states that, based on available information on analogous chemical substances, the PMN substance may cause lung effects...

EU project SANOWORK investigates health and environmental impact of nanomaterials

Scientists from the University of Limerick (UL) have joined a European Commission (EC) funded project, SANOWORK that aims to assess and manage potential risks associated with nanomaterials. SANOWORK involves collaboration between 8 academic and public research bodies and 5 industrial manufacturers of nanomaterials from across Europe who will participate in the € 4.7 M EC FP7-NMP research project...

Wearable Sampler To Check Exposure To Nanoparticles

(...) researchers in Taiwan and the U.S. have developed what they say is the first personal sampler to collect nano- and microparticles. Chuen-Jinn Tsai at the National Chiao Tung University and his colleagues linked sampling technologies in series. First, a tiny cyclonic vacuum, like those in bagless vacuum cleaners, catches particles over 4 µm wide, which are too heavy to follow the spinning air in the cylindrical cyclone. The cyclone pushes these microparticles to the side walls, where they fall and are collected. Next, particles bigger than 100 nm in diameter collect in the second part of the sampler, called a micro-orifice impactor. In it, air blows through 137 thin nozzles and pushes particles onto a collection plate. Finally the smallest nanoparticles, those that are too light to be pushed onto the impactor’s plate, blow through and get caught in a filter...

Related article: "A Novel Active Personal Nanoparticle Sampler (PENS) for the Exposure Assessment of Nanoparticles in Workplaces" @ Environ. Sci. Technol. (2012) Just Accepted Manuscript


Events & Announcements

Safety issues and regulatory challenges of nanomaterials

Jointly organized by the coordinators of four European FP7 Projects HINAMOX, NANOPOLYTOX, NEPHH and ENPRA, and by The Joint Research Centre (JRC) from the European Commission, the symposium "Safety issues and regulatory challenges of nanomaterials" will be held on the 3rd and 4th May 2012 at CIC biomaGUNE San Sebastián (Spain). Addressing the latest results and progress of the European FP7 Projects (HINAMOX, NANOPOLYTOX, NEPHH and ENPRA) the symposium aims to present the state of the art and recent developments in the legislation and regulations in the EU and the world concerning nanomaterials. The event will provide participants with the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences about the critical issues specific for the risk assessment and LCA of nanomaterials in a regulatory context,  to identify the needs and challenges for policy making and regulation of nanotechnology based materials and to trigger discussion and networking among experts in the different fields of nanosafety. For more information, program and registration click here.


OECD and Germany Will Hold Workshop on Safe Management of Nanowaste

On May 9-11, 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) will hold a workshop entitled “Safe Management of Nanowaste” in Munich (Germany).  According to the draft agenda, the objectives of the workshop are to get a better understanding of the potential risks posed by nanowaste and waste containing nanomaterials; to exchange information about existing initiatives/approaches addressing nanowaste management; and to identify what OECD and member country governments can do to ensure safe management of such materials...

Nanosafety Training Course on Metal Oxides

On June 8, the FP7 project HINAMOX proposes a Nanosafety Training course on Metal Oxides at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki (Finland). HINAMOX offers a complete approach to understanding the safety and human health implications of metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) and nanotechnology-based materials. The course will highlight the experiences and discoveries of the HINAMOX project and experts from HINAMOX will share their latest knowledge and practices regarding health effects, toxicology testing, exposure assessment, risk assessment and management of manufactured nanosized metal oxides. For more information click here.


Articles & Reviews

Characterization of nanoparticles released during construction of photocatalytic pavements using engineered nanoparticles

With the increasing use of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles in self-cleaning materials such as photocatalytic concrete pavements, the release of nanoparticles into the environment is inevitable. Nanoparticle concentration, particle size, surface area, elemental composition, and surface morphology are pertinent to determine the associated risks. In this study, the potential of exposure to synthetic nanoparticles released during construction activities for application of photocatalytic pavements was measured during laboratory-simulated construction activities of photocatalytic mortar overlays and in an actual field application of photocatalytic spray coat.(...)
From H Dylla, MM Hassan. J Nanopart Res (2012) 14:825

Workplace exposure to nanoparticles and the application of provisional nanoreference values in times of uncertain risks

Nano reference values (NRVs) for occupational use of nanomaterials were tested as provisional substitute for Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). NRVs can be used as provisional limit values until Health-Based OELs or derived no-effect levels (DNEL) become available. NRVs were defined for 8 h periods (time weighted average) and for short-term exposure periods (15 min-time weighted average). To assess the usefulness of these NRVs, airborne number concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs) in the workplace environment were measured during paint manufacturing, electroplating, light equipment manufacturing, non-reflective glass production, production of pigment concentrates and car refinishing. Activities monitored were handling of solid engineered NPs (ENP), abrasion, spraying and heating during occupational use of nanomaterials (containing ENPs) and machining nanosurfaces.(...)
From P van Broekhuizen, F van Broekhuizen, R Cornelissen et al. - J Nanopart Res (2012) 14:770

The mechanism of pleural inflammation by long carbon nanotubes: interaction of long fibres with macrophages...

... stimulates them to amplify pro-inflammatory responses in mesothelial cells

(...) Recently CNT have been shown to elicit a length-dependent, asbestos-like inflammatory response in the pleural cavity of mice, where long fibres caused inflammation but short fibres did not. However the cellular mechanisms governing this response have yet to be elucidated. This study examined the in vitro effects of a range of CNT for their ability to stimulate the release of the acute phase cytokines; IL-1beta, TNFalpha, IL-6 and the chemokine IL-8 from both Met5a mesothelial cells and THP-1 macrophages.(...)
From FA Murphy, A Schinwald, CA Poland, K Donaldson. Particle and Fibre Toxicology (2012) 9:8


Assessing the Relevance of in vitro Studies in Nanotoxicology by Examining Correlations between in vitro and in vivo Data

There is an urgent need for in vitro screening assays to evaluate nanoparticle (NP) toxicity. However, the relevance of in vitro assays is still disputable. We administered doses of TiO2 NPs of different sizes to alveolar epithelial cells in vitro and the same NPs by intratracheal instillation in rats in vivo to examine the correlation between in vitro and in vivo responses. The correlations were based on toxicity rankings of NPs after adopting NP surface area as dose metric, and response per unit surface area as response metric. (...)
From X Hana, N Corsona, P Wade-Mercer et al. - Toxicology (2012) In Press

Concentration-Dependent, Size-Independent Toxicity of Citrate Capped AuNPs in Drosophila melanogaster

(...) In this work, we evaluated the toxicity of monodisperse citrate-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) of different sizes (5, 15, 40, and 80 nm) in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, upon ingestion. To properly evaluate and distinguish the possible dose- and/or size-dependent toxicity of the AuNPs, we performed a thorough assessment of their biological effects, using two different dose-metrics. In the first approach, we kept constant the total surface area of the differently sized AuNPs (Total Exposed Surface area approach, TES), while, in the second approach, we used the same number concentration of the four different sizes of AuNPs (Total Number of Nanoparticles approach, TNN).(...)
From G Vecchio, A Galeone, V Brunetti et al. - PLoS ONE (2012) 7(1): e29980.


Xylem- and Phloem-Based Transport of CuO Nanoparticles in Maize (Zea mays L.)

This work reports on the toxicity of CuO nanoparticles (NPs) to maize (Zea mays L.) and their transport and redistribution in the plant. CuO NPs (100 mg L–1) had no effect on germination, but inhibited the growth of maize seedlings; in comparison the dissolved Cu2+ ions and CuO bulk particles had no obvious effect on maize growth. CuO NPs were present in xylem sap as examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), showing that CuO NPs were transported from roots to shoots via xylem. (...) The current study provides direct evidence for the bioaccumulation and biotransformation of CuO NPs (20–40 nm) in maize, which has significant implications on the potential risk of NPs and food safety.
From Z Wang, X Xie, J Zhao et al. - Environ. Sci. Technol. (2012) Article ASAP

OMNT Nanosafety Newsletter

Click here to subscribe to the Nanosafety Newsletter (e-mail notification)

Click here to unsubscribe from the Nanosafety Newsletter.

Chief editor: Stéphane Fontanell; Managing Editor: Marie-Claire Toufektsian