Environmental considerations and current status of grouping and regulation of engineered nanomaterials
This article reviews the current status of nanotechnology with emphasis on application and related environmental considerations as well as legislation. Application and analysis of nanomaterials in infrastructure (construction, building coatings, and water treatment) is discussed, and in particular nanomaterial release during the lifecycle of these applications. Moreover, possible grouping approaches with regard to ecotoxicological and toxicological properties, and the fate of nanomaterials in the environment are evaluated. In terms of potential exposure, the opportunities that arise from leveraging advances in several key areas, such as water treatment and construction are addressed. Additionally, this review describes challenges with regard to the European Commission’s definition of ‘nanomaterial’. The revised REACH information requirements, intended to enable a comprehensive risk assessment of nanomaterials, are outlined.