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Nanomaterial FAte and Speciation in the Environment

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - NanoFASE (Nanomaterial FAte and Speciation in the Environment)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-09-30

The overarching objective of NanoFASE is to deliver an integrated Exposure Assessment Framework of models and characterisation protocols that will allow all stakeholders to assess the full diversity of industrial nano-enabled products to a standard that; i) is acceptable in regulatory registrations, ii) allows industry a cost-effective product-to-market process, and iii) delivers the understanding at all levels to underpin public and consumer confidence.
NanoFASE will ensure the Framework is delivered in a form that supports both the regulatory and technical guidance developments needed, via direct and continuous industrial and regulator stakeholder engagement and dialogue, throughout the project lifetime. Through this emphasis on stakeholder engagement and input to the Framework development process, NanoFASE will develop models and methods that are ideally positioned for incorporation into current mainstream chemical assessment tools, policy and regulation (e.g. EUSES & REACH). We will provide the underpinning science to enable the state of the art in ENM Fate and exposure assessment to move towards a level at least comparable with that for conventional chemicals
1. Enabling “form-specific” release modelling.
Estimates of ENM and nano-enabled products value chain were produced. For TiO2, ZnO, Ag and Cu-based ENM at EU country level, manufacturing of nano-enabled products, details of downstream uses and exposure scenarios as well as potential releases to the environment. Experiments on environmental release have been conducted and a field campaign in an industrial site producing TiO2 ENMs was performed, which allows setting up a ENM emissions database. ENM accidental release scenario catalogue has been built as an OWL (Web Ontology Language) file. Spiking experiments for wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) (Task 5.1) have started while batch laboratory scale experiments have been conducted to further study the sulfidation kinetics and mechanism of copper oxide nanoparticles in dependence of different organic compounds relevant for wastewater systems. Pilot scale experiments using synchrotron spectroscopy were conducted to study NP transformation during sewage sludge combustion and pyrolysis these processes using.
2. Optimising methods for ENM characterisation to deliver repeatable and reproducible results in environmentally relevant “complex” matrices.
Work has been undertaken by partners for their individual methods. The related data collection templates will also be linked into the clickable framework ensuring that it is as compressive yet accessible as possible. An internal workshop was held to identify those protocols being developed that are have relevance to OECD initiatives. The NanoFASE standardisation portfolio has been reported through the Nano Safety Cluster with ongoing dialogue with standardisation and regulatory bodies to ensure that the work carried out in NanoFASE is well positioned to address these needs.
3. Developing a catalogue of process-informed compartment models.
A review on ENM fate in air (WP6) has been completed and an international workshop was held on airborne ENM: Measurement, Implications and Modelling to ensure the work in NanoFASE is advancing the state of the art approaches in this field. Test rigs have been built to study airborne ENMS and the first results have been obtained on the Emission of ENM from nano automotive products during road transport. A field campaign was conducted to quantify/characterize the emissions at stack (WP4 and WP6), and measure the concentration in the environment and ground deposition (WP6). A second measurement campaign was conducted in Jan. 2018 at a TiO2 facotry in collaboration with the EU funded project caLIBRAte.
For soils we have identified the dominant processes to model, how to model these, how to assess the required model parameters experimentally, and what spatial study areas will be modelled. Models and protocols are being developed and assessed for their suitability to inform ENM transformation and transport processes. Deliverable 7.2 which will be finalised in June 2018, has addressed (i) descriptors that can be used to forward-predict mobility of ENMs in natural soils, (ii) the soil properties dominating the fate of ENMs and (iii) the development of protocols to determine fate descriptors of ENMs in soils.
Environmental behaviour of ENM in waters and sediments (WP8): different methods to study dissolution, heteroaggregation and sulfidation of nanoparticles have been developed, tested and compared between different WP8 partners. Work on ENM transformations in sediment systems (Task 8.5) has been prepared by assessing different microcosm designs and testing a microprofiling system capable of resolving redox conditions in sediments at high spatial resolution.
Work describing in vitro and in vivo accumulation and parameters describing in vivo uptake of pristine particles have been completed (WP9). Additional kinetic experiments have been initiated and conducted on more relevant aged NPs and NPs resulting from case studies (Ag-NPs). The exposure stage of both terrestrial and aquatic mesocosm studies are nearing conclusion
4. Working closely with stakeholders to develop a fate and exposure assessment framework and 5. Ensuring that the method and model developments have the widest and highest possible impact.
Activities towards the maximisation of the impacts of have progressed well during period 2:-
NanoSafety Cluster workshops facilitating direct face-to-face stakeholder interaction were organized (or attended) by NanoFASE consortium partners, including:
Engagement with PROSAFE through provision of materials for review. This was carried forward through representation at the joint OECD/PROSAFE workshop on Environmental Exposure, Behaviour and Fate.
Co-organisation of the NSC & ECHA data harmonisation workshop in Brussels to support the development of the EU Observatory for Nanomaterials.
Continued dialogue with NanoFASE Advisory Board members representing the regulatory community.
Contributions to NMEG meetings scheduled for 3-4 May 2018, 6-7 November 2018, and May 2019.
NanoFASE Stakeholder Workshop (SETAC Rome, 14th May 2018) to involve members of the regulatory community.
NanoFASE is accelerating product development for industrial partners with technological advances for single particle ICP-MS and high throughput Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) techniques. NanoFASE has developed links with the Nanomaterial Industry Association (NIA) and has contributed to a NIA meeting and subsequent webinar on the concept of Safe by Design (SbD) principles.
Activities towards the maximisation of the impacts of NanoFASE is progressing well. Early initiatives have been undertaken by NanoFASE to establish routes for effective engagement with stakeholders from a range of sectors.
NanoFASE partners are actively involved in stakeholder interactions relevant to their specific fields. Partners have been both present and proactive in the research field, both building NanoFASE project awareness and gaining awareness of completing, ongoing and upcoming research projects (including sister EU cluster projects and overseas initiatives).
Schematic of the Exposure Assessment Framework being developed in NanoFASE