Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > DuPont and Environmental Defense Launch Comprehensive Tool for Evaluating and Addressing Potential Risks of Nanoscale Materials

Nano Risk Framework to Aid in Responsible Development of Nanotechnology

DuPont and Environmental Defense Launch Comprehensive Tool for Evaluating and Addressing Potential Risks of Nanoscale Materials

Washington, DC | Posted on June 20th, 2007

DuPont and Environmental Defense today released a comprehensive framework to assist with the responsible development and use of nanotechnology and to help inform global dialogue on its potential risks. The Nano Risk Framework is intended for use around the world by small and large companies, regulatory agencies, universities, and others with an interest in commercializing nanoscale materials.

DuPont and Environmental Defense began a partnership on nanotechnology in September 2005, creating a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in science, engineering, law and business. The goal was to develop a systematic and disciplined process for evaluating and addressing the environmental, health and safety risks of nanomaterials across all stages of a product's lifecycle - from initial sourcing through manufacture, use, and recycling or disposal.

The resulting Framework offers a thorough and usable six-step process for organizations to identify, assess and manage potential risks. The six steps within the Framework include:

describing the material and the intended application;
profiling the material's lifecycle in this application;
evaluating the associated risks;
assessing risk management options;
deciding and documenting actions; and,
regularly reviewing new information and adapting actions accordingly.

"Nanotechnology has the potential to unleash innovations in materials, energy, and other fields that could lead to powerful environmental and health benefits," said Director of Corporate Partnerships at Environmental Defense Gwen Ruta. "Our intent is to help reap the full promise of this technology without creating unintended consequences. We want to get this right the first time around."

"This Framework outlines a disciplined process for the responsible development of nanomaterials," said DuPont Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Linda Fisher. "At DuPont, we have adopted this approach as a part of our mandatory product stewardship process, and we encourage others to do the same. While we do not see this Framework as a substitute for regulation, we hope that it assists governments in drafting appropriate regulations."

In developing the Framework, DuPont and Environmental Defense solicited and received significant feedback from a broad range of interested parties, including other companies and NGOs, government officials and academics. The Framework uses proven risk-management techniques in order to fully integrate with any current environmental, health and safety practices in place within companies. It also provides several new elements that can be instrumental in understanding the unique potential risks of nanomaterials, including: the recommendation to develop informational profiles (or "base sets") regarding the properties, hazards, and exposures associated with a given nanomaterial; and guidance on developing more detailed information on physical-chemical properties, ecotoxicity and environmental fate than has typically been used in existing risk management profiles.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness, flexibility and practicality of the Framework, DuPont conducted three demonstration projects on three different classes of nanoscale materials: a new titanium dioxide-based product, carbon nanotubes and zero valent iron.

"These projects were selected not only because they are of interest to DuPont, but also because they represent a good test of the Framework," said DuPont Global Regulatory Affairs Director Terry Medley. "Each represents a different position for DuPont in the value chain and is at a different stage of development. The projects required different resources, produced varying outcomes, and each demonstrated different aspects of the Framework." The three projects were:

A new titanium dioxide-based product, called DuPont™ Light Stabilizer 210, which is designed as sun protection for plastics. An announcement about this product and its commercial availability will be made in the near future. Not all of the particles in this product fit the specific definition of nanomaterials, since a significant fraction is larger than the threshold 100 nanometer size. However, this material proved to be a good test of the Framework's methodology. The Framework helped DuPont develop a comprehensive exposure and hazard profile for this material prior to commercialization.

Carbon nanotubes incorporated into polymer nanocomposites to improve mechanical and electrical properties of engineering thermoplastics. DuPont currently conducts basic research and development using carbon nanotubes for potential future product applications. The company used the Framework to refine internal management procedures and to identify questions to be answered for such applications before they move from R&D toward commercialization.

Nano zero valent iron, which DuPont was evaluating for potential use in groundwater remediation. Use of the Framework identified a number of questions regarding the physical safety, fate and transport of the material for this environmental application. DuPont chose not to pursue use of this material until these questions could be addressed.


About DuPont
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

Environmental Defense, a leading national non-profit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems.

For more information, please click here

Michelle Reardon

Melanie Janin
Environmental Defense

Copyright © DuPont

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Worksheet on DuPont™ Light Stabilizer 210

Worksheet on CNT and thermoplastics

Worksheet on zero valent iron

Related News Press

Preparing for Nano

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012


When quantum scale affects the way atoms emit and absorb particles of light: Exact simulation lifts the 80-year-old mystery of the degree to which atoms can be dressed with photons October 24th, 2016

Nanoantenna lighting-rod effect produces fast optical switches October 24th, 2016

New nanomedicine approach aims to improve HIV drug therapies October 24th, 2016

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries: Novel technique may lead to longer battery life in portable electronics and electrical vehicles October 24th, 2016


Inspiration from the ocean: An interdisciplinary team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has developed a non-toxic, high-quality surface treatment for organic field-effect transistors October 18th, 2016

Silver nanoparticle concentration too low to be harmful in water supply, paper finds October 14th, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

Mathematical nanotoxicoproteomics: Quantitative characterization of effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes: This research article by Dr. Subhash Basak et al. will be published in Current Computer-Aided Drug Design, Volume 12, 2016 September 2nd, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Exploding smartphones: What's the silent danger lurking in our rechargeable devices? New research identifies toxic emissions released by lithium-ion batteries October 21st, 2016

Study finds surface texture of gallium nitride affects cell behavior October 17th, 2016

Silver nanoparticle concentration too low to be harmful in water supply, paper finds October 14th, 2016

10 years of SAFENANO at the IOM October 10th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Enterprise In Space Partners with Sketchfab and 3D Hubs for NewSpace Education October 13th, 2016

Arrowhead and Spring Bank Announce Clinical Collaboration for ARC-520 and SB 9200 in Chronic Hepatitis B October 6th, 2016

STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016

Leti to Tackle Tomorrow's Research Strategies with Stanford University’s SystemX Alliance: French R&D Center Is the First Research Institute to Join the Collaboration and Provides Bridges Between Academia and Industry, Leveraging Alliance’s Potential October 4th, 2016

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project