UCLA Convenes Leaders in Nanotechnology to Advance a 21st Century Framework for Industrial Chemicals

The Workshop Alternative Testing Strategies for Carbon Nanotubes and Other Modes of Nanomaterial Toxicity: Developing a 21st Century Scientific and Policy Framework for Industrial Chemicals was held on January 16-17, 2013

UCLA convened national-level leaders in January for the workshop Alternative Testing Strategies for Carbon Nanotubes and Other Modes of Nanomaterial Toxicity: Developing a 21st Century Scientific and Policy Framework for Industrial Chemicals. This landmark event highlighted opportunities to develop a predictive paradigm for toxicity testing.

The traditional approach to testing the toxicity of chemicals has left an enormous backlog of untested chemicals. And now with the emergence of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs)—transforming industries as diverse as medicine and consumer products—society urgently needs new approaches to chemical testing that can more effectively and efficiently assess toxicity and thus evaluate more accurately chemical risk. This information can inform and safeguard environmental health and safety while allowing innovation of new materials and products.. Using carbon nanotubes as a case study, the group engaged in a moderated discussion on the utility of emerging testing methods in advancing a 21st century approach to evaluating industrial chemical risk more broadly.

The event included science and policy experts from industry, academia, and government.  Among the topics discussed, ENMs were presented as an opportunity to use a predictive toxicological approach to testing that could serve as an example for other industrial chemicals. The recent emergence and development of ENMs provide an appropriate platform for discussion due to their unique properties and potential for toxicity.

This cutting-edge dialogue will continue at the upcoming open-to-the-public event, “UC CEIN Nano EH&S Forum: Scientific Advances Towards Reducing Complexity in Decision Making” on May 8, 2013 at UCLA.  For more information and to register, visit http://www.cein.ucla.edu/nanoehs2013.html.  This conference is hosted by UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN), a world-class research facility focused on the responsible use and safe implementation of nanotechnology in the environment. UC CEIN, the UCLA Center for Nanobiology and Predictive Toxicology, and the Luskin Center for Innovation are partners on the Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety Initiative.

A forthcoming publication will highlight salient points discussed at the January workshop including areas of agreement, disagreement, and areas for further exploration to develop testing strategies for ENMs and how these strategies can be used for decision making in industrial, regulatory, policy and academic settings.