The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted a literature review examining current knowledge on the environmental and health risks of exposure to the most widely used nanomaterials, concluding that to date no significant risks have been linked to the use of these substances.
The report evaluates seven nanomaterials used in consumer products, selected on the basis of their application volumes, potential human and environmental exposure and expected persistence or bioaccumulation. These are:
- Titanium dioxide
- Cerium dioxide
- Silicon dioxide
It concludes that, based on current uses, nano-iron and nanoclay do not carry any health or environmental risk. For the other five materials, gaps in current knowledge mean there are areas that require further research before the risk potential can be fully evaluated, according to the Danish EPA.
The report was written by researchers from the consultant group COWI and Technical University of Denmark (DTU).