On October 3, 2007, the California Department for Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) held a symposium on the potential hazards of nanoparticles in the environment. According to DTSC, exploring environmentally safe processes in nanotechnology manufacturing is a component of the California Green Chemistry Initiative. Under the Initiative, a multi-agency state team is exploring a different approach to environmental protection — transitioning away from managing toxic chemicals at the end of the life-cycle, to reducing or eliminating their use altogether. DTSC states that this new approach is similar to measures adopted by the European Union (EU) and the Canadian government to encourage greater manufacturer responsibility.
Presentations at the symposium included:
- “Chemical Properties and Commercial/Industrial Applications of Nanotechnology,” Cattien Nguyen, Ph.D., Nanotechnology Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center;
- “Physico-Chemical Characterization of Nanoparticles and Its Relation to Their Bio-Interactions,” Lutz Mädler, Ph.D., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles;
- “Potential Ecotoxicity of Nanoparticles Released to the Environment,” Patricia McClellan-Green, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State University;
- “Nanomaterial Human Health Risks and Risk Assessment,” Justin Teeguarden, Ph.D., Environmental Technology Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and
- “One Proactive Approach to Responsible Nanotechnology Development: The DuPont-Environmental Defense NanoRisk Framework,” Richard Denison, Ph.D., Environmental Defense (ED).