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February 2, 2016

OECD Publishes Reports Concerning Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has posted the following reports concerning nanomaterials:

  • Considerations for Using Dissolution as a Function of Surface Chemistry to Evaluate Environmental Behaviour Of Nanomaterials in Risk Assessments:  A Preliminary Case Study Using Silver Nanoparticles — The December 18, 2015, report discusses preliminary findings on dissolution by media type, provides recommendations, compares silver nanoparticles to other nanomaterials, and summarizes additional needs.
  • Physical-Chemical Parameters:  Measurements and Methods Relevant for the Regulation of Nanomaterials — The January 21, 2016, OECD workshop report summarizes the June 18-19, 2014, OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) meeting on Nanomaterials Physical-Chemical Parameters.  The main objectives of the meeting were to identify the appropriate test methods for physical-chemical parameters for manufactured nanomaterials, building on the experience from the OECD Testing Program, the knowledge acquired through the research done by physical-chemical and metrology experts, and if possible, to determine which test methods are appropriate for both a particular parameter and particular types of nanomaterials.  The report includes the following recommendations:  a decision tree needs to be developed for particle size; technical guidance is needed on the application of electron microscopy for determining the size and size distribution and shape of particulate materials; and guidance needs to be developed in tandem to the decision tree on dispersion protocols, while considering defining smallest dispersible size.  For all the physical-chemical properties discussed, the group saw the need to identify the appropriateness of techniques/methodologies for specific measurands for different nanomaterial chemical/structural-based categories; to develop a guidance document based on the chemical identification descriptors/behaviors needed leading to selection of techniques/methodologies; to develop guidance on available methods for chemical composition, giving consideration to functional tests when appropriate; and to develop guidance on how to determine crystallinity, where results for the bulk are not sufficient, focusing on which methods to use when, including how to deal with surface crystallinity.
  • Approaches on Nano Grouping/Equivalence/Read-Across Concepts Based on Physical-Chemical Properties (GERA-PC) for Regulatory Regimes — The January 22, 2016, document presents responses to, and findings from, a 2013 questionnaire survey on approaches to develop or use concepts of grouping, equivalence, and read-across based on physical-chemical properties (GERA-PC) of nanomaterials for their human health and ecosystem hazard assessment in regulatory regimes.  The survey was proposed following the results of the WPMN work on risk assessment approaches to strengthen and enhance regulatory risk assessment capacity.  Thirteen responses were received from eight OECD member countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.), one regional organization (the European Union), and one OECD partner (the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC)).