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Nanotechnology & Nanomaterials Research

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Chemical Safety Research Control of Nanomaterials Nanomaterials Research Coordination Team Nanomaterial Research Fact Sheet Risk Assessment

Commercial processes and products that use nanomaterials are growing rapidly and these tiny products are increasingly found in paint, fabrics, cosmetics, treated wood, electronics and sunscreen. Nanomaterials can be 100,000 times thinner than a strand of hair and they exhibit unique properties different than the same chemical substances in a larger size. Nanomaterials provide opportunities for the development of innovative products that provide advances in technologies and medicine. EPA is using scientific methods to research what nanomaterials are, how they act, travel and change over time. This research is used by EPA's Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Office and others making chemical decisions to inform policy and regulatory decisions to better protect human health and the environment.

Exposure & Nanomaterials Properties

The unique composition/properties of nanomaterials—their size, diversity and countless uses—pose challenges to assessing the risks they pose to human health and the environment. EPA is researching the properties of nanomaterials to better detect, quantify and describe them.

Learn more about Exposure/Characterizing Properties...

Life Cycle Assessment

EPA scientists are evaluating the life cycle of consumer products (including raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, benefits of the product, use, recycling and ultimate disposal) containing nanomaterials to inventory the environmental and health impacts. The research findings can be used to update and create new risk assessments.

Learn more about Life Cycle Assessment...

Collaborative Research Efforts

The United States government's efforts to assess nanotechnology are coordinated by the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The collaborative research project is comprised of 25 federal agencies, including EPA, all working together to integrate efforts both domestically and internationally within the private sector and the broader scientific and stakeholder communities.

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