Assessing the Risks of Nanomaterials Across the Life Cycle

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
208 Hudson Hall


Jo Anne Shatkin

Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D. is President of Vireo Advisors, LLC, a woman-owned business based in Boston, Massachusetts focused on sustainability strategies for new and nano-technology development and innovation.

Abstract: Responsible and sustainable technology development requires proactive consideration of potential impacts across the life cycle of materials. The need for data a priori to application development creates challenges for the existing risk analysis paradigm, designed to test individual chemical substances in pure form. For novel nanoscale materials, limitations in the availability and reliability of data create challenges for measuring and assessing their potential risks to health and the environment in real world applications, particularly because of the dynamic nature of these materials in the environment. An actionable course to mitigate risk and harness technological benefits requires life cycle thinking to identify and inform data development in a broader risk paradigm. This talk describes a methodology for assessing potential health and environmental risks of novel materials, and presents a case study demonstrating the framework.

This talk describes NANO LCRA, an iterative, tiered approach to risk assessment of nanomaterials, incorporating life cycle systems thinking into the risk analysis paradigm to inform data gaps, with increasing data requirements as products approach commercialization. Potential risks are framed across the product life cycle, utilizing a structured approach to identify critical uncertainties and priority data needs at each stage.

Bio: Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D. is President of Vireo Advisors, LLC, a woman-owned business based in Boston, Massachusetts focused on sustainability strategies for new and nano-technology development and innovation. She has extensive experience in working with entrepreneurs to guide responsible product development and commercialization.  As CEO of CLF Ventures, she worked with early stage and large organizations on new technology introduction strategies, including business planning, environmental impact assessment, and networking for financing.  She develops state of the art analyses on behalf of public and private organizations to inform safe and sustainable product new development. Dr. Shatkin is an environmental health scientist and recognized expert in environmental science and policy, human health risk assessment, emerging contaminants policy and environmental aspects of nanotechnology.

Since 2005, Jo Anne has provided leadership on the responsible development of nanotechnology, and on approaches for decision making under uncertainty. She served as an expert to several international committees on nanotechnology safety, including the joint WHO_FAO Expert Panel on Nanotechnology in Food, the Canadian Council of Academies, and the US/Russia Bilateral Commission for Science and Technology Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety Panel. She pioneered the use of life cycle thinking in risk analysis for nanomaterials, collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop several case studies that informed EPA’s risk analysis, research agenda and policies for nanomaterials.  Jo Anne developed and uses NANO Life Cycle Risk Analysis to inform safe development strategies for nanomaterials, described in her book, Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Risks Second Edition (CRC Press 2012). Jo Anne founded the Emerging Nanoscale Materials Specialty Group of the international Society for Risk Analysis, where she serves as councilor. She serves on the board of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University and the University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute and was a Switzer Environmental Fellow. She is leading efforts to develop methods and standards for environmental health and safety for TAPPI and participates in the US Technical Advisory Group to ANSI on EHS Standards Development for nanocellulose. Jo Anne received an Individually Designed Ph.D. in Environmental Health Science and Policy and her MA in Risk Management and Technology Assessment from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts and possesses a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic University in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.