Nanomaterial Case Study: A Comparison of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Decabromodiphenyl Ether Flame-Retardant Coatings Applied to Upholstery Textiles (External Review Draft)
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This draft case study does not represent a completed or even a preliminary assessment of MWCNTs; rather, it uses the CEA framework to structure information from available literature and other resources (e.g., government reports) on the product life cycle, fate and transport processes in various environmental media, exposure-dose characterization, and impacts in human, ecological, and environmental receptors. Importantly, information on other direct and indirect ramifications of both primary and secondary substances or stressors associated with the nanomaterial is also included when available. The draft case study provides a basis for the next step of the CEA process, whereby collective judgment is used to identify and prioritize research gaps to support future assessment efforts that inform near-term risk management goals.
Engineered nanoscale materials (nanomaterials) are generally described as having at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm). They often have novel or unique properties that arise from their small size. Like all technological developments, nanomaterials offer the potential for both benefits and risks. The assessment of such risks and benefits requires information, but given the nascent state of nanotechnology, much remains to be learned about the characteristics and effects of nanomaterials. The draft case study document provided a starting point for a workshop process that engaged experts with diverse technical (e.g., toxicology, polymer science, environmental fate and transport) and sector (e.g., industry, academia, government) backgrounds. Experts used the draft case study document to identify and prioritize research gaps that could support future assessment and risk management efforts for multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). This prioritization took place through a structured decision process that allowed each expert to have equal input on the outcome. RTI International, an EPA contractor, independently conducted this structured workshop process through the use of web-based tools and a face-to-face workshop.
Some research gaps identified through this workshop process may be specific to the use of MWCNT in flame-retardant coatings applied to upholstery textiles; others may relate more broadly to MWCNT irrespective of its application, while still others may apply more widely to nanomaterials in general. In each instance, the identified research gap will inform the development of the final case study document, which is intended to support research planning throughout the scientific community.
|Feb 2007||EPA's Nanotechnology White Paper recommends the development of case studies to identify unique risk assessment considerations and research needed to support risk assessment efforts for nanomaterials.|
|Sep 2009||EPA initiates the "Nanomaterial Case Studies Workshop: Developing a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment Research Strategy for Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide" under auspices of the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors (invitation only) to identify and prioritize research needs for titanium dioxide, using the nanoscale titanium dioxide case studies and a structured collective judgment process.|
|May 2010||EPA released the report, "Workshop Summary for the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors, Nanomaterial Case Studies Workshop: Developing a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment Research Strategy for Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide."|
|Apr 2010||EPA conducted an internal review of the "Nanomaterial Case Study: Nanoscale Silver in Disinfectant Spray" draft report.|
|Nov 2010||EPA released the final report, "Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in Water Treatment and in Topical Sunscreen."|
|Dec 2010||EPA announced a public meeting to review and discuss the EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies reports. [Federal Register Dec 13, 2010]|
|Jan 2011||EPA held a workshop in Research Triangle Park, NC on January 4-7, 2011 to identify and prioritize research questions related to nanoscale silver based on the external review draft of the Nanomaterial Case Study: Nanoscale Silver in Disinfectant Spray document. A summary report (PDF) is available that describes the workshop and its outcomes.|
|Mar 2012||EPA conducted an internal review of the "Nanomaterial Case Study: A Comparison of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Decabromodiphenyl Ether Flame-Retardant Coatings Applied to Upholstery Textiles" draft report.|
|May 2012||EPA conducted an interagency review of the "Nanomaterial Case Study: A Comparison of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Decabromodiphenyl Ether Flame-Retardant Coatings Applied to Upholstery Textiles" draft report.|
|Jul 2012||EPA released the external review draft of "Nanomaterial Case Study: A Comparison of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Decabromodiphenyl Ether Flame-Retardant Coatings Applied to Upholstery Textiles" for a 60-day public review and comment period and announced a public meeting to review and discuss the EPA Nanomaterial Case Study. [Federal Register Notice Jul 2, 2012]|
More information on the EPA Public Information Exchange meeting can be found in the Federal Register Notice.
This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.
- (2 pp, 233 KB, about PDF)
- (136 pp, 4 MB, about PDF)
- Nanomaterial Case Study: Nanoscale Silver in Disinfectant Spray (External Review Draft)
- Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide In Water Treatment And In Topical Sunscreen (Final)
- Nanomaterial Case Study: A Comparison of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Decabromodiphenyl Ether Flame-Retardant Coatings Applied to Upholstery Textiles (Independent Peer Review Draft)
- Comprehensive Environmental Assessment Applied To Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Flame-Retardant Coatings In Upholstery Textiles: A Case Study Presenting Priority Research Gaps For Future Risk Assessments (Final Report)