On June 25, 2014, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) posted Progress Review on the Coordinated Implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy, which provides an overview of progress on the implementation and coordination of the 2011 NNI Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research Strategy that was developed by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee’s Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group. According to the NNI, consistent with the adaptive management process described in the Research Strategy, “the NEHI Working Group has made significant progress through the use of various evaluation tools to understand the current status of nanotechnology-related EHS (nanoEHS) research and the Federal nanoEHS research investment.” NNI states: “Most notably, the participating agencies reported to the NEHI Working Group examples of ongoing, completed, and anticipated EHS research (from FY 2009 through FY 2012) relevant to implementation of the 2011 NNI EHS Research Strategy.” Overall, according to NNI, coordination and implementation of the 2011 NNI EHS Strategy across the NEHI agencies has enabled:
- Development of comprehensive measurement tools that consider the full life cycles of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) in various media;
- Collection of exposure assessment data and resources to inform workplace exposure control strategies for key classes of ENMs;
- Enhanced understanding of the modes of interaction between ENMs and physiological systems relevant to human biology;
- Improved assessment of transport and transformations of ENMs in various environmental media, biological systems, and over full life cycles;
- Development of principles for establishing robust risk assessment and risk management practices for ENMs and nanotechnology-enabled products that incorporate ENMs, as well as approaches for identifying, characterizing, and communicating risks to all stakeholders; and
- Coordination of efforts to enhance data quality, modeling, and simulation capabilities for nanotechnology, towards building a collaborative nanoinformatics infrastructure.