Environmental Research relevant to Regulatory Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials: State of Play, and Possible Future Directions
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Phil Sayre, Retired, EPA
Phil Sayre, Ph.D.
Abstract: Nanomaterial (NM) definitions in part determine the types of materials that enter into regulatory review. Once these particular NMs are netted, current regulatory test protocols and models are often not directly applicable to assessing their fate in surface waters. The same conclusions can be drawn for ecotoxicity estimation techniques and test protocols. The resultant lack of clear conclusions on potential environmental risks is reflected in risk management decisions made. Therefore, environmental research needs can be identified at least in part by examining the types of NMs reviewed, and the data and methods currently applied to assessing their risks under regulatory programs in the U.S. and abroad. In the near term, there are test protocols and guidance documents under development by OECD member countries which will require bench testing to determine reliability and relevance: these projects involve both fate and effects research. In the longer term, there are strong interests related to categories and other approaches to simplify testing needs, the prediction of exposure hot spots, and tools for assessment of sustainability.