ISO Technical Report Helps Assess Nanomaterials' Environmental Impacts

ANSI noted that, among the essential topics pertaining to environmental safety, the Technical Report provides useful information on how investigators should respond to several questions or issues that commonly arise.

The American National Standards Institute, administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for International Standards Organization Technical Committee 229, has announced the publication of a new ISO Technical Report that can help in assessing the environmental impact of nanomaterials. The 26-page document, ISO TR 21386, Nanotechnologies—Considerations for the measurement of nano-objects and their aggregates and agglomerates (NOAA) in environmental matrices, can be used by industry and academic institutions and by regulators focused on environmental stewardship.

ISO TR 21386 was developed by ISO TC 229, Working Group 3, Health, safety and environment. WG 3 is U.S. led, operating under the leadership of Dr. Vladimir Murashov of NIOSH. Dr. Richard Pleus of Intertox is the WG 3 Chair for the ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG to ISO TC 229, with leadership for this project provided by Dr. Raymond David, a member from the American Chemistry Council's Nanotechnology Panel.

"This document provides insight into collecting, preparing, and analyzing engineered NOAA found in the environment. It helps the investigator understand what influences background levels of naturally occurring nanomaterials, and provides examples of how samples are collected from environmental media," said David.

ANSI noted that, among the essential topics pertaining to environmental safety, the report provides useful information on how investigators should respond to several questions or issues that commonly arise:

  • What are the background levels of naturally occurring materials of the same or similar composition?
  • How do concentrations of naturally occurring materials change over time/geography?
  • Can the manufactured NOAA be distinguished from naturally occurring nano-objects?
  • What are the instruments that have been used to quantify and characterize NOAA in the environment?
  • What are the proper sample preparation methods and do these methods vary with the nanomaterial of interest, or do they vary with the medium?

ANSI administers the U.S. TAG for ISO TC 229, which was established in June 2005 to progress standardization in nanotechnology.

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