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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. > Danish EPA Publishes Number of Reports Concerning Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson
Managing Director
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Abstract:
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on March 6, 2015, the following reports concerning nanomaterials:

March 13th, 2015

Danish EPA Publishes Number of Reports Concerning Nanomaterials

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on March 6, 2015, the following reports concerning nanomaterials:

Survey of products with nanosized pigments -- Focusing on products exempt from the Danish Nanoproduct Register: The main focus of the study is on paints, wood preservatives, glues, and fillers, as well as on colored textiles. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/survey-of-products-with-nanosized-pigments According to the Danish EPA, the survey contributes to the overview of consumer products with nanomaterials on the Danish market and is intended to discuss whether and which pigments may be considered nanomaterials according to the definition of nanomaterial recommended by the European Commission (EC). This is done based on an initial mapping of pigments on the European Union (EU) market. The Danish EPA states: "Based on discussions with stakeholders, including trade organisations and industry, it is concluded that most pigments are likely candidates to be nanomaterials."

Exposure assessment of nanomaterials in consumer products: Under the agreement "Better Control of Nanomaterials," the Danish EPA commissioned a number of projects to investigate and generate new knowledge on the presence of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market and assess the possible associated risks to consumers and the environment. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/exposure-assessment-of-nanomaterials-in-consumer-products This report is the first in a series of four from a project addressing consumer exposure and risk assessment of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market. The report evaluates existing methods/approaches/tools for assessing consumer exposure and risks associated with consumer nanoproducts, and identifies representative consumer nanoproducts from which to select and describe a total of 20 exposure scenarios for further risk assessment.

Hazard assessment of nanomaterials in consumer products: This is the second report in the series of four from the project addressing consumer exposure and risk assessment of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/hazard-assessment-of-nanomaterials-in-consumer-products The Danish EPA states that the consumer is potentially exposed to nanomaterials in their final, intended use (i.e., when the nanomaterials are part of a matrix). The report focuses on the hazard of nanomaterials when part of a consumer matrix. Free nanomaterials may be liberated during the use phase, however, and therefore the hazard of pristine nanomaterials is also described.

Exposure to nanomaterials from the Danish Environment: This is the third report from the project addressing consumer exposure and risk assessment of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/exposure-to-nanomaterials-from-the-danish-environment The Danish EPA states that the report evaluates the population's exposure to nanoparticles from the environment and describes the risk associated with this exposure. According to the Danish EPA, the results should give proportionality to the possible risks from exposure to nanomaterials from use of consumer nanoproducts that are described in other parts/work packages of this project.

Nanomaterials in Commercial Aerosol Products on the Danish Market: The report examines the use of aerosol spray products containing solid nanomaterials available to consumers on the Danish market. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/nanomaterials-in-commercial-aerosol-products-on-the-danish-market According to the Danish EPA, very few aerosol products with nanomaterials are found on the Danish market. The identified products include cleaning products, waterproofing products, and paint. The Danish EPA states that the nano content in many of the products is in the form of ordinary pigments that are nanosized. A simple risk assessment suggests the same risk profile of aerosol products with and without nano. Both can pose a hazard if used indoors in unventilated spaces. The Danish EPA cautions that spray products should in general be used outdoors or in ventilated rooms.

Occurrence and effects of nanosized anatase titanium dioxide in consumer products: The survey maps the occurrence and effects of nanosized anatase titanium dioxide in a number of selected products on the Danish market. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/occurrence-and-effects-of-nanosized-anatase-titanium-dioxide-in-consumer-products Based on available knowledge, an attempt has been made to assess if possible risks can be associated with their use. The Danish EPA states that the crystalline anatase form of titanium dioxide occurs in many products used as a pigment (paint, paper, plastic, cosmetics) or as a UV filter (e.g., plastic, sunscreens, and various coatings), but also in less widespread products where the photocatalytic properties prevalent in the anatase form are made use of (e.g., self-cleaning paints and construction materials). According to the Danish EPA, the occurrence of the anatase form in sunscreens was difficult to assess precisely as primarily Danish producers responded. To achieve the Nordic ecolabel "Svanen," most of these avoid nanomaterials, which are banned in this context. Insufficient data made it impossible to assess if the products could represent a risk to human health. Regarding sunscreens, the Danish EPA states that "it is assessed that an unacceptable risk is not likely even in a summer scenario, where high amounts of sunscreen are used. Also, spray-application of self-cleaning paint was not assessed as presenting a risk based on available data."

Nanomaterials in the Danish environment -- Modelling exposure of the Danish environment to selected nanomaterials: Using modeling techniques, the report predicts where to find some of the most widespread nanomaterials in the environment in Denmark. See http://mst.dk/service/publikationer/publikationsarkiv/2015/mar/nanomaterials-in-the-danish-environment The Danish EPA states that these findings "are to be used in an overall assessment of the impact of nanomaterials on the environment in Denmark."

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