EPA Requests Nano Data, Invests $7.34M in Research
Environmental Protection Agency announced on Jan. 28 that it has
awarded 21 grants totaling $7.34 million to universities to investigate
potential adverse health and environmental effects of manufactured
nanomaterials. On that same date, the agency launched its Nanoscale
Materials Stewardship Program to encourage companies to provide risk
The grants were awarded through EPA's Science to Achieve Results
research grants program in partnership with the National Science
Foundation's, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which
awarded another eight grants for a total of 29. Nine of the grants
focus on potential toxicity, and 12 grants study the fate and transport
of nanomaterials in the environment.
"Nanotechnology is an exciting new field with the potential to
transform environmental protection. But it is critical to know whether
nanomaterials could negatively impact health or the environment," said
George Gray, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and
Development. "By performing research on potential adverse affects, EPA
is doing what is right for both human and environmental health and
The agency's Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program under the Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) will gather and develop key information
from manufacturers, importers, processors and users of engineered
chemical nanoscale materials.
“This program will help strengthen the scientific understanding of
nanoscale materials and allow EPA to more quickly assemble the
information needed to ensure appropriate oversight of the products of
this promising technology," said Jim Gulliford, the agency's assistant
administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances.
The program has set a deadline for stakeholders to provide
information within six months. The agency will evaluate the information
to help ensure the safe manufacture and use of these nanoscale
materials. EPA also will work with manufacturers, importers, processors
and users of nanoscale materials to develop test data to provide a
scientific basis for assessing the hazards, exposures, and risks of
nanoscale materials. The program will complement and support EPA's new
and existing chemical programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The program includes, but is not limited to, existing chemical
nanoscale materials manufactured or imported for commercial purposes as
defined by TSCA. EPA encourages manufacturers and importers of new
chemical nanoscale materials, which are subject to TSCA reporting
requirements prior to manufacture, as well as researchers to consider
reporting under the program. The program will help provide a firmer,
scientific foundation for regulatory decisions by encouraging the
development of key scientific information and use of risk management
practices in developing and commercializing nanoscale materials.
For information on the program, visit http://epa.gov/oppt/nano/stewardship.htm.
For information on nanotechnology under the Toxic Substances Control Act, go to http://epa.gov/oppt/nano.
EPA further works with agencies in other countries on nanotechnology
health and safety research. The agency is part of the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development effort to promote international
cooperation in health and environmental safety related aspects of