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June 9, 2015

OECD Finds Standard Test Guidelines for Normal Chemical Substances Are in Most Part Suitable for Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued a June 9, 2015, press release entitled “OECD chemical studies show way forward for nanomaterial safety.”  The press release states:

  • Today the OECD marked the end of a seven-year experimental testing program, investigating 11 commercially viable nanomaterials across over 110 different chemical tests;
  • The results were coordinated from across 11 countries with tests and data generated from dozens of government agencies, universities, research institutions, and businesses; and
  • Over 780 studies on the specific properties of nanomaterials were undertaken to fill in the gaps of our understanding of nanomaterials.

The 11 nanomaterials tested include cerium oxide; dendrimers; fullerenes (C60); gold nanoparticles; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; nanoclays; silicon dioxide; silver nanoparticles; single-walled carbon nanotubes; titanium dioxide (NM100-NM105); and zinc oxide.  OECD states:  “The tests showed that the standard test guidelines used for normal chemical substances are in the most part suitable for use on nanomaterials.  Changes to the Test Guidelines to better understand the intrinsic properties of nanomaterials are now providing a clear framework for OECD countries to move forward in the examination of nanomaterials.”  According to OECD, its testing program “gives member governments confidence that the use of the OECD test guidelines to determine the impact that nanomaterials may have on the environment or human health are suitable in the most part.”  OECD states that it will now focus on how the test guidelines can be better adapted “to make sure that the intrinsic properties of nanomaterials are fully accounted for.”