Engineered Nanomaterials and Health: Challenges in Nanotoxicology

A. Elder
University of Rochester,
United States

Keywords: EHS, health, nanomaterial


There has been an explosion in the development of physicochemically diverse engineered nanomaterials that promise significant technological advances to meet needs in the areas of electronics, environmental remediation, medicine, and others. With these advances and the high production volume for some materials comes a concern about unintentional workplace or environmental human exposures and the adverse health outcomes that may result from such exposures. There are many challenges to addressing these concerns, including: a dearth of nanoparticle-specific exposure data; questions regarding the applicability of existing exposure-effect data; poor understanding of target organs and target organ doses; evaluating the adequacy of in vitro and in vivo exposure models; limited understanding of links between nanomaterial physicochemical properties and health outcomes; and little understanding of response mechanisms at realistic doses and exposure durations. The talk will focus on the knowledge gaps regarding toxicological assessments that need to be addressed in order to responsibly manufacture, use, and dispose of engineered nanomaterial-containing products while protecting human and environmental health.