Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Measurement science challenges that complicate the assessment of the potential ecotoxicological risks of carbon nanomaterials

Published

Author(s)

Elijah J. Petersen

Abstract

While substantial progress has been made on the assessment of the potential ecotoxicological risks of some carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) during the past decade, there are still significant metrology challenges that hinder this assessment. I will write from the perspective of a government scientist working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a national metrology institute. The focus of our work is to raise the quality of nanotechnology environmental health and safety data by improving the nanomaterial measurement infrastructure. We accomplish this through, for example, the production of standard reference materials (SRMs) (e.g., NIST SRM 2483 (single-wall carbon nanotubes raw soot) and 8281 (single-wall carbon nanotubes dispersed in three length-resolved populations)) and development of accurate, validated methods. Thus, my focus will be on the measurement science aspect of the potential ecotoxicological risks rather than judging whether they bring more risk or benefit to the environment. In this perspective, I will discuss the following topics that currently hinder ecological risk assessment of carbon nanomaterials and provide suggestions for improvements: lack of consistent nomenclature/definitions, shape and element-related characterization challenges, complications from a lack of aqueous stability for many CNMs, artifacts in CNM nanoecotoxicology tests, and uncertainty regarding the extent to which the potential effects of pristine CNMs accurately represent those from from CNM-enabled consumer products.
Citation
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Citation

Petersen, E. (2015), Measurement science challenges that complicate the assessment of the potential ecotoxicological risks of carbon nanomaterials, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=916487 (Accessed June 23, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created April 1, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017