Nanoscale Carbon Toxicity Testing Proposal Submitted to EPA



The NanoSafety Consortium for Carbon just submitted a proposed toxicity testing agreement to EPA under Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act covering a range of nanoscale materials including multi-walled carbon nanotubes, double-walled carbon nanotubes, single-walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene. 


Key elements for the curious:

  • The chemical substances to be tested may include representative (i) purified multi-walled carbon nanotubes ranging from 4 to 600 nanometers in diameter and less than 30 micrometers in length; (ii) purified double-walled carbon nanotubes ranging from 1.5 to 4 nanometers in diameter and less than 5 micrometers in length; (iii) purified single-walled carbon nanotubes ranging from .7 to 2 nanometers in diameter and less than 30 micrometers in length; and (iv) purified graphene nanoplatelets in flake/sheet form ranging from .5 nanometers to 100 nanometers thick. All test materials will be purified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to be at least 99 percent pure. Final test materials will be approved by the EPA and will be selected to adequately represent the constituency of the final signatories to the testing agreement.


  • The characteristic for which testing will be conducted is subchronic inhalation toxicity in rodents, or such other toxicity testing as may be approved by EPA to achieve the intent and purpose of the testing agreement. As appropriate, consideration will be given to using in vivo instillation rather than inhalation test methods. Test data will be developed under standards based on TSCA test guidelines in 40 CFR parts 796, 797, and 798, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) test guidelines, or other suitable test methodologies.  Specifically, the signatories will conduct a 90 day inhalation toxicity study in rats with a post exposure observation period of up to 3 months, including broncholaveolar lavage fluid analysis (OPPTS 870.3465 or OECD 413), or such other testing as may be approved by the EPA to achieve the intent and purpose of the testing agreement. Testing guidelines will be modified to account for nanoscale properties of the materials being tested. Such modifications are subject to EPA approval and will be incorporated into the below-referenced study plan.

If EPA decides to pursue the proposed testing agreement, it will initiate a six-month negotiation and comment period which will open to the public pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 790.28.

Stay tuned.


Study of Chinese Print Workers Claims to Provide the First Human Evidence of the Clinical Toxicity of Long-term Nanoparticle Exposures

This article was originally published by the National Nanomanufacturing Network's "InterNano" project (  It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

A recent study published in the well-known medical journal, the European Respiratory Journal, has been receiving significant publicity as the authors have claimed their findings support an apparent linkage between workplace exposures to nanoparticles and severe respiratory disease. Specifically, in this study, investigators at China's Capital University of Medical Science related unusual and progressive lung disease in seven Chinese workers, two of whom died, to nanoparticle exposures in a print plant where a polyacrylic ester paste containing nanoparticles was used. This linkage was made by the study investigators despite a general lack of exposure data for the workers. 

The complete review is after the jump . . .

Reviewed by Christopher M. Long, Sc.D., and Barbara D. Beck, Ph.D., DABT, FATS, Gradient

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Soil Association Cites Alleged Deaths in Renewed Call for Moritorium on Nanotechnology Commercialization

Earlier today, the Guardian printed a letter from the Soil Association criticizing the paper's nanotechnology supplement appearing last Thursday.  The letter cites the Song study from China as more evidence supporting its call for a moratorium on nanoscale materials along with "nano-free" standards, which we have previously covered.  Key statements from the letter follow:

"Seven women working in a factory [in China] where nanoparticles were used in paint fell ill with serious lung disease and two died. Researchers . . . found nanoparticles deep in the lungs of the women . . . A chemical in the paint, the patients' lung tissue and the liquid surrounding the lungs were all found to contain nanoparticles."

"There should be an immediate freeze on the commercial release of nanomaterials until there is a sound body of scientific research into all the health impacts."

The letter does not attempt to explain any of the severe criticism the Song article has received by most main stream scientists, and is a good example of bad science put to a questionable use.