Durability + Design

Building Performance and Aesthetics

A Product of Technology Publishing
JPCL/PaintSquare | D+D | Paint BidTracker

Subscribe to D+D Magazine

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

U.S. Plans Big Look at Nano Risks

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More items for Coatings Technology

Comment | More

Racing to catch up with one of science's fastest-growing technologies, federal researchers will begin studying the health and environmental implications of nanomaterials widely used in paints, coatings, and other products.

Nanomaterial formulations have imbued many of today's newest paint and coatings with antimicrobial, anticorrosion, and other important properties.

Now, researchers want to make sure the products are completely safe for humans and the environment. The new study partners scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Tiny Materials, Big Impact

"Nanotechnology and nanomaterials used in the development of these products improve our everyday lives, but it is important that we understand how humans are exposed to nanomaterials and to assess the risks they may pose to people's health and the environment," said Dr. Tina Bahadori, national program director for EPA's Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research.

Nanomaterials are now being used in hundreds of consumer products, but development and commercialization have outpaced full knowledge of their effects on humans and the environment, authorities say.


Nanomaterials are currently used in hundreds of consumer products, according to the EPA.

The materials—100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair—have unique properties that are not fully understood, the government says.

Research is needed to identify methods that will allow manufacturers and other stakeholders to ensure that products containing these materials are not harmful, the agency says.

Nanomaterials in Coatings

The new research focus will include nanomaterials that are used in paints and coatings, EPA said. Those materials include:

Carbon Nanotubes: Carbon materials have found varied applications in paints, coatings and a wide range of other uses. They have also, in past research, exhibited some toxicological impacts. EPA research will provide data, models, test methods, and best practices to discover the acute health effects of carbon nanotubes and identify methods to predict them.

Recently, a new corrosion-resistant steel coating made with fullerene carbon nanotubes was awarded a $100,000 grant to develop and manufacture the coatings.

In 2011, scientists were working to develop anti-icing coating technology using carbon nanotubes.

Cerium Oxide: Nanoscale cerium oxide is used in everything from electronics, to biomedical supplies, to energy and fuel additives. The EPA reports that many applications of engineered cerium oxide nanoparticles naturally disperse themselves into the environment, which increases the risk of exposure.

Titanium Dioxide: Nano-titanium dioxides are used in paints and coatings, among other products.

In March, Dechema/VCI Working Group released a 10-year study on risks of nanomaterials. The research stated that UV-activated nano-titanium dioxide used in paints could potentially combat air pollutants and fungi and bacteria on some surfaces.

However, in 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health stated that airborne, ultrafine particles of titanium dioxide could potentially cause cancer.

Nano Silver: This nanomaterial has been incorporated into a variety of materials to eliminate bacteria and odor.

Two new coatings systems using patented silver nanotechnology were recently introduced to combat mold and bacteria in food and medical facilities. The manufacturer said its coating system used a proprietary resistance mechanism based on a nano-silver complex to provide a "permanent" and environmentally compatible long-term protection against mold and bacteria on coating film.

Iron: While nano-scale iron is being investigated for many uses, one promising application is to remove contamination from groundwater, the EPA stated.

Iron nanoparticles encapsulated in a rust-preventing polymer coating could be the future to cleaning up groundwater contaminated with toxic chemicals, a leading water expert says.

Bioni USA
Bioni USA

Researchers have used nanomaterials in coatings for many applications. Bioni USA recently launched two antimicrobial coatings that incorporate silver nanotechnology.

International Research Effort

The research is part of a larger international effort that focuses on identifying the origins of nanomaterials, determining how they interact with the human body and the environment, and developing sustainable manufacturing processes.

Bahadori said, "This innovative research greatly improves what is known about nanomaterials and will inform the future design of more sustainable, effective nanomaterials."

Dr. Treye Thomas, program manager for the CPSC Nanotechnology program, noted that although nanomaterials are popular, "the need for additional research and knowledge on how they affect consumers is great."

"The CPSC staff is working diligently to meet the challenges involved in regulating this emerging technology and is pleased to be collaborating with staff at EPA to develop test methods and exposure data to adequately address health and safety concerns," Thomas said.


Tagged categories: Environmental Protection; EPA; Nano and hybrid coatings; Nanotechnology; Polymers; Research

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Analyzes
Coating Failures

• Field Diagnosis
• Lab Diagnosis
• Determination of Cause
• Recommendations

Hanley Wood Exhibitions
FREE Admission to Int’l Roofing Expo 2015

Held February 24-26 in New Orleans, the IRE brings the roofing construction and maintenance industry together for face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.

Atlas Material Testing Technology

Helping You Put Your Products To The Test

• Outdoor Accelerated
• Laboratory Testing
• Accelerated Weathering

www.atlas-mts.com atlas.info@ametek.com

World of Concrete
World of Concrete 2015

Exhibits: Feb. 3-6 2015 Seminars: Feb. 2-6 2015 Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, NV USA

PlastiForm Concrete Forming Systems LLC

Radius & Straight Reusable & lightweight Fast Setup & Strip when concrete won’t slump LIFETIME GUARANTEE on USA products Saves Time, Money, Labor, Trees

(855)550-8555) maryann@plastiformcfs.com

AGC Chemicals
Restoring Curtain Walls And Extrusions Using LUMIFLON® FEVE Resins

LUMIFLON based coatings offer factory-like finishes with a reduction in metallic flop which is ideal for field-applied curtain wall and extrusion repair.

PPG  Architectural Coatings / Porter Paints / PGH Paints
Property Maintenance Solutions

Glidden Professional at The Home Depot® provides property managers with professional paint recommendations, project planning and FREE jobsite delivery.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

EXPLORE D+D:      Interact   |   Blogs   |   Resources   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   White Papers   |   Classifieds
GET D+D:      Subscribe   |   Advertising Media Kit
KNOW D+D:      About D+D   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2010-2015, Technology Publishing, Co., All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com