EPA draft report : “Nanomaterial case studies : nanoscale titanium dioxide in water treatment and in topical sunscreen”


The EPA released this July for review and public comment a draft version of a (rather huge) report entitled “Nanomaterial case studies : nanoscale titanium dioxide in water treatment and in topical sunscreen” (222 p).

According to the preamble (p 14) : ” (…) This document is a starting point to determine what is known and what needs to be known about selected nanomaterials as part of a process to identify and prioritize research to inform future assessments of the potential ecological and health implications of these materials. Two specific applications of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) are considered: as an agent for removing arsenic from drinking water and as an active ingredient in topical sunscreen. (…)

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – Life cycle stages : “This chapter discusses the life cycle of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) as either a water treatment agent or an ingredient in topical sunscreen. Each stage in the life cycles of the respective applications is considered from the standpoint of potential releases to the environment.

Chapter 3 – Fate and transport : This chapter “explores what might happen to nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) after it is released to the environment at various stages of the product life cycles for water treatment agents or topical sunscreens.

Chapter 4 – Exposure-dose characterization : “This chapter examines the potential for biota and humans to be exposed to nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) and associated pollutants through various environmental pathways tracing back to the life cycle of two types of applications of nano-TiO2, water treatment agents and topical sunscreens.

Chapter 5 – Characterization of effects : “This chapter provides information on the factors that influence nano-TiO2 ecological and health effects (Section 5.1), the ecological effects of nano-TiO2 (Section 5.2), and the toxicological and human health effects of nano-TiO2 (Section 5.3).

As stated on the dedicated EPA web page, “each chapter includes a list of questions that reflect information gaps in that portion of the document. Some of these information gaps or research needs are specific to the respective uses of nano-TiO2 either as a water treatment agent or as an ingredient in topical sunscreen. Other research needs may apply more broadly to nano-TiO2 irrespective of its application, and still other needs may apply even more widely to nanomaterials in general.

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# EPA report on the use of nanoscale TiO2 in water and sunscreens

# Nanotechnology & sunscreens – EWG’s 2009 investigation

# TiO2 nanoparticles in biomedical publications since 2000 

# Nanofiltration in patents since 2000 ]]]

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