Thursday, August 06, 2009

A lot of information on a little topic: EPA's Nanotitanium Case Study

Still stuck in the sunscreen limbo? Wondering which to choose - "chemical" filters or "natural" filters like nanotitanium? While we know chemical filters tend to be absorbed into the skin, should we be concerned about absorption of nanotitanium as well? Or perhaps you're wondering when anyone is going to get around to really thinking about how best to evalute risks of nanomaterials? Well here's your chance to read all about it - at least all about the life and times of nanotitanium in one relatively complete report.

EPA has just releasee their Nanomaterials Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in Water Treatment and in Topical Sunscreen DRAFT. I haven't read the section on water treatment, but this past winter I was involved in the review of the section on sunscreen - sure to be a hot topic even as summer is sadly winding down. While the report won't help you choose which sunscreen to use, it provides a fairly comprehensive review of nanotitanium.

The document, according to EPA is, "...a starting point to to identify what is known and, more importantly, what needs to be known about selected nanomaterial applications."

And, as they tackle the moving target (in the sense that research and publications just keep rolling in) that is nano from production to product, birth to afterlife they invite readers to:
....consider the questions listed throughout the document and offer specific comments on how individual questions, or research needs, might be more precisely or accurately articulated. If additional questions should be included or if information is already available to address some of the questions posed here, readers are encouraged to provide such comments as well. These or other comments on any aspect of the document should be submitted in writing in accordance with instructions, including the specified time period, stated in a Federal Register notice appearing on or about July 31, 2009 referring to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2009-0495.

So have at it. It'll be interesting to follow the further development of this report.


JLowe said...

Once again, this seems like bolting the barn door after the horse gets out. One of the things about getting to be my age is that I can recall the passage of legislation such as TSCA, which was supposed to provide some pre-market hazard screening. One wonders what's happened to that, if we're asking these kinds of questions after nano-products, MTBE or PBDEs are on the market.

By the way, I've moved It's still under construction, but I'm getting some posts up.

Emily said...

Good to hear from you J. Will add your new address to the blogroll and will look forward to your comments (if you read) on the nano report!

Yes I agree - the horse and the cats are out already. But not all of them. So maybe there's hope.

I'm curious - do you recall how you felt at the initiation of TSCA? Were you hopeful (were you even doing what you do now?) Or was there some skepticism?


JLowe said...

Your question about how I felt about the passage of TSCA prompted a mild chuckle - that's a trip down memory lane for me. I'll e-mail you some time with a longer remembrance of the subject, but for now I'll say I was left with a sense of optimism that we would get some measure of understanding and control over chemicals in the environment - that "things would get better".