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March 2, 2016

OECD Publishes Reports on Physical-Chemical Properties and Categorization of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently published the following reports:

  • Physical-chemical properties of nanomaterials: Evaluation of methods applied in the OECD-WPMN testing programme: The Netherlands volunteered to lead an initial detailed evaluation of the applicability of the test methods applied to determine the physico-chemical properties of different types of nanomaterials in the Testing Program.  The evaluated dossiers include information on multi-walled carbon nanotubes, single-walled carbon nanotubes, silver, silicon dioxide, cerium dioxide, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, fullerenes, dendrimers, gold, and nanoclay.  According to the recommendations, the evaluations showed that many of the methods have limitations, which to some extent could be addressed by developing standardized methods.  The report recommends prioritizing some of the methods for further work towards standard test methods.  To develop and validate standard test methods, the report recommends developing reference materials.
  • Categorisation of manufactured nanomaterials workshop report: This is the report of the September 17-19, 2014, OECD Expert Meeting on categorization of manufactured nanomaterials, which was hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The expert meeting concluded that discussion and conclusions can be used to develop fit-for-purpose decision frameworks for categorization that can be used under different regulatory systems for manufactured nanomaterials.  To support this, the expert meeting recommended:
    • Identifying and developing, where needed, methods for characterization of relevant physical-chemical properties for toxicokinetics, fate, hazard, and exposure assessments;
    • Use of methods that enable comparability, are reliable, and use the OECD Guidance on Sample Preparation and Dosimetry; and
    • Agreeing on or developing experimental models (e.g., in-vitro and in-vivo assays) that are predictive of human health and environment effects and that support categorization.