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January 5, 2009

EPA Announces Joint Research Partnership with UK Agencies Regarding the Behavior and Effects of Nanomaterials in the Environment

Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 29, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is in the process of finalizing a major joint research effort with a number of United Kingdom (UK) agencies that is intended to develop and validate predictive tools and similar conceptual models that predict exposure, bioavailability, and effects of manufactured nanomaterials in the environment. The UK agencies include the Natural Environment Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, and Environment Agency.  According to EPA, the research partnership will include a joint call issued by all organizations involved and will incorporate a common review and evaluation process.  EPA states: “The intent is to form consortia of both UK and US investigators using combined but independent national funding arrangements.” EPA expects the solicitations to be issued in February 2009.