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Friday, October 14, 2011

Nanomaterials for Environmental Remediation: The role of nanoinformatics in the state agencies' regulatory oversight of safety and health

The use of nanomaterials for environmental remediation is no longer a theoretical concept but a proven technology for many EPA superfund sites across the country. Although this new approach saves time and money in comparison to the traditional remediation (clean-up) technologies, there are many health and safety risks and uncertainties associated with the handling of nanomaterials throughout their life cycle.

State government agencies will play a more significant role in the future in ensuring that the employment of nanotechnology for environmental remediation does not significantly affect health and safety of workers or the general public. However, availability of relevant information relating to safety, health, environmental and toxicological properties of nanomaterials is often lacking. For state governments to effectively regulate and have a greater safety and health oversight of nanomaterials, it is necessary that as this information becomes available, it is collected, collated and made accessible to state agencies and programs in a timely manner in order to support regulatory efforts. This presentation will summarize results of a survey conducted in conjunction with state government agencies and programs throughout the fifty states documenting the current and future scientific and information needs related to safety and health of nanomaterials at the state level.

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