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October 7, 2009

EPA Announces Research Strategy to Study Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

On September 30, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of the Nanomaterial Research Strategy (Strategy), which EPA describes as its new research strategy to understand better how manufactured nanomaterials may harm human health and the environment.  The Strategy outlines what research EPA intends to support over the next several years to generate information about the safe use of nanotechnology and products that contain nanoscale materials.  The Strategy also includes research into ways nanotechnology can be used to clean up toxic chemicals in the environment.  In its announcement, EPA states that its role among federal agencies “is to determine the potential hazards of nanotechnology and develop approaches to reduce or minimize any risks identified.  As part of the strategy, researchers are investigating widely used nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, which are used in vehicles, sports equipment and electronics; and titanium dioxide, which is used in paints, cosmetics and sunscreens.”