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and the nanomaterial lifecycle

Published on 30 January 2017

Nanosafety addresses the entire nanomaterial lifecycle. Nanosafety covers:

  • Nanomaterials producers that deliver colloidal (liquid) or dry (powder) products. Nanomaterials producers are acutely aware of the health, safety, and environmental issues surrounding nanomaterials and, especially, worker protection. The release of nanoparticles into the environment and appropriate waste-treatment processes are also key concerns of producers. Safer-by-Design materials and processes and quality control are also among the major challenges facing nanomaterials producers.


  • Producers of semi-finished and finished products face challenges similar to those of nanomaterials producers. However, they are less aware of the issues because nanomaterials are not part of their core business.

    Organizations that develop and sell nanomaterials are especially aware of the release of nanoparticles into the environment as their products age and are exposed to UV rays or mechanical stress. The priority is, of course, to commercialize products that do not expose people or the environment to risks that are currently not well understood. Therefore, two factors must be taken into account from the very beginning:

  • Release into the environment: We need to deepen our understanding of nanomaterials’ behavior in the air, soil, and water. This is crucial to making sure that we are aware of any impacts on plants, animals, and the environment in general. Toxicity and ecotoxicity studies must be carried out to ascertain any potential nanomaterial-related hazards.

  • End-of-cycle management: In the future, many of the items we use every day will contain varying amounts of nanomaterials. Therefore, we need to investigate end-of-lifecycle management (disposal) strategies, and make any necessary modifications to existing recycling-industry processes.