Characterization and Toxicity of Flame Retardant Nanocomposites

Monday, January 14, 2013

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm


Joshua Osterberg

Joshua Osterberg, Ph.D. is a Research Associate in Dr. Richard Di Giulio's Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment.

Abstract: Nanoparticles are increasingly being added to products to improve or augment their structural, optical, electrical, antimicrobial, and/or flammability properties. Traditional flame retardants have often been polybrominated compounds that are persistent lipophilic pollutants linked to endocrine, neurological, and developmental impairment in humans and wildlife. Thermoplastic and polyurethane foam nanocomposites, with incorporated nanomaterials, are an alternative approach to reduce the flammability of commercial products. I will present our work so far characterizing the pure nanomaterials (CNF, MWCNT, Cloisite clay, AgNP), pure thermoplastics (PLA, PS, ABS, SAN) and polyurethane foam, and their respective composites as well as their (minimal, so far) toxicity to the model nematode /Caenorhabditis elegans/ and zebrafish /Danio rerio/. These are the initial steps towards an ultimate risk assessment for these nanocomposites.