Project KNO-1: Stakeholder Engagement for Improved Science Utilization for Nano EHS Policy and Decision-Making

Andre Nel, Hilary Godwin, Dave Avery, Meghan Horan, Tim Malloy, Barbara Harthorn, and Fred Klaessig

The goal of KNO-1 is to engage industry, NGOs, academia, and regulatory agencies to develop opportunities for intellectual exchanges between diverse stakeholders within the ENM field. Translating the scientific work and research accomplishments of the Center to broad audiences is crucial to transform nano EHS knowledge and enhance partnerships with stakeholder groups.  As a leader in nano EHS, CEIN is well positioned to facilitate discussions about how emerging nano scientific discoveries can be made more useful and accessible to assist regulatory decision-making, with a specific focus on understanding how CEIN can support efforts to optimize industry safe handling by reducing the cost of compliance and regulatory changes and streamlining regulatory processes to maximize timeliness of evaluation, while at the same time improving health outcomes.  This goal is being executed though the following:  

a) Alternative testing strategies (ATS) Webinar (January 2017)- TSCA reform calls for the reduction of chemical testing on vertebrate animals through the utilization of high-throughput screening methods and predictive toxicology. Theme 7 is currently planning a webinar with the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) to inform multi-stakeholders on the utility of ATS for mechanism-based high throughout and high content screening; how data can be used for dose and exposure-relevant tiered risk assessment; and pitfalls that need to be overcome for the acceptance of ATS as an integral risk assessment tool in the new TSCA reform. This webinar will act as a platform for our next multi-stakeholder workshop;

b) Multi-stakeholder Workshops- The most recent workshop, Implementing Environmentally-Relevant Exposures for Improved Interpretation of Laboratory Toxicology Studies of Manufactured and Engineered Nanomaterials (M&ENMs) (March 2015) had over 40 national and international ecotoxicology researchers, exposure modelers, material manufacturers, and governmental representatives in attendance. This resulted in a Critical Review publication (May 2016) in ES&T by Holden et al.  Our next workshop (Spring 2017) on the utility of ATS for tiered risk assessment and regulation of nanomaterials under the new TSCA Reform Act will be based upon our ATS webinar;

c) Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Validation Study- Stemming from the multi-stakeholder workshop Categorization Strategies for Engineered Nanomaterials in a Regulatory Context (May 2014), we conducted a voluntary multi-participant CNT Validation Study. Participants of the May 2014 workshop viewed ATS worthy of consideration for categorization and regulatory decision making. In this study, participants tested a series of CNT materials (both historically studied and newly available) by mechanistic in vitro assays across a series of laboratories. If confirmed that in vitro tests can predict the in vivo outcomes, then in vitro tests may gain acceptance as a first pass screening tool to reduce the reliance on expensive animal testing. Manuscript preparations are currently underway;

d) Website, Social Media, Spotlights- The CEIN website and social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) continue to provide a broad an impactful overview of the scientific and educational accomplishments of CEIN. In addition, CEIN has published video research highlights on recently published CEIN articles and projects. These highlights are a creative way of disseminating CEIN research and communicating with the nanoscience and nanotechnology communities and beyond.


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