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Principal Investigator: Hill, William Cary
Institute Receiving Award Ita International Llc
Location Newport News, VA
Grant Number R44ES030650
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 May 2019 to 31 Aug 2024
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary Consumer products increasingly contain engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) or generate respirable particulate matter (PM) at levels known to introduce negative health effects. While ENMs can improve product capabilities, consumers (and even manufacturers) are often unaware of the dangers presented by use of some products. Crucially, federal oversight and regulatory measures cannot keep pace with the rate at which new products are released which contain new ENMs or release large amounts of undetected PM. Numerous tools and assays already exist which can accurately characterize the size, concentration, composition, and other properties of ENMs and PM. While additional improvements to characterization equipment is certainly valuable- especially with regard to the discernment of carbonaceous ENMs from PM- the greatest impact on human health can be realized through the development of an agile exposure assessment service using available cutting-edge characterization equipment and broad mass communication avenues to support safety-conscious manufacturers and protect consumers. NanoSafe proposes to develop a systematic procedure for rapidly producing robust evaluation protocols for the independent assessment of exposure risk to airborne ENMs and PM released by consumer products- the NanoSafe TestedTM program. Exposure evaluations will occur in NanoSafe’s Class 1000 cleanroom, where ENM and PM concentration and size distribution will be measured alongside sampling for detailed characterization. In Phase II, developed test protocols for additive manufacturing products and cosmetics will continue to be refined, with new protocols for other products presenting high ENM/PM exposure risk to be added, including filtration appliances and masks (Specific Aim #1); this includes evaluation of popular makeshift personal protective equipment (PPE) designs currently under use by healthcare professionals due to diminished supplies of PPE during the COVID-19 crisis. Avenues and methods for effectively translating and communicating technical measurements to a broad consumer base will be developed (Specific Aim #2), and data management systems toward ISO certification will be constructed along with customer engagement to refine communication metrics (Specific Aim #3). In the ultimate commercial vision, NanoSafe will evaluate, classify, and publish the exposure risk presented to users of ENM-containing and PM-generating consumer products to inform purchasing decisions. Products demonstrating low ENM exposure risk by NanoSafe TestedTM protocols may earn use of a NanoSafe TestedTM label or similar classification of merit for purchase by manufacturers, and watchdog testing performed by NanoSafe will inform the public about products of especially high risk. These efforts will encourage consumer purchase of safer ENM-containing and PM-generating products, and in turn, inspire manufacturers to develop consumer products that present lessened ENM and PM exposure risk.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 78 - Nanotoxicology
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications See publications associated with this Grant.
Program Officer Lingamanaidu Ravichandran
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