Tag Archives: CEIN

American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) nanotechnology standards panel to meet in Februrary 2013 and one more standard

The American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Nanotechnology Standards Panel (NSP) was scheduled to meet in Oct. 2012 but Hurricane Sandy, which hit the eastern part of the continent at that time, necessitated rescheduling to Feb. 4, 2013 as per the Dec. 20, 2012 posting on Thomas.net,

Originally scheduled for October 30, 2012, ANSI’s Nanotechnology Standards Panel meeting was postponed as a result of Hurricane Sandy and will now be held on February 4, 2013. Meeting will examine how current nanotechnology standards are being utilized and how standards activities meet existing stakeholder needs. Benefits of participating in nanotechnology standardization and the possibilities for greater collaboration between stakeholders in this area will also be discussed.

The Dec. 14, 2012 ANSI news release provides more details about the Feb. 4, 2012 meeting to be held in Washington, DC,

The half-day meeting will examine how current nanotechnology standards are being utilized and how standards activities meet existing stakeholder needs. The benefits for companies, organizations, and other groups to participate in nanotechnology standardization and the possibilities for greater collaboration between stakeholders in this area will also be discussed.

Formed in 2004, ANSI’s NSP serves as the cross-sector coordinating body for the facilitation of standards development in the area of nanotechnology. Shaun Clancy, Ph.D., the director of product regulatory services for the Evonik Degussa Corporation, and Ajit Jilavenkatesa, Ph.D., the senior standards policy advisor for the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC), serve as the ANSI-NSP’s co-chairs.

… The ANSI-NSP works to provide a forum for standards developing organizations (SDOs), government entities, academia, and industry to identify needs and establish recommendations for the creation or updating of standards related to nanotechnology and nanomaterials. In addition, the ANSI-NSP solicits participation from nanotechnology-related groups that have not traditionally been involved in the voluntary consensus standards system, while also promoting cross-sector collaborative efforts.

Attendance at the February meeting is free. All attendees are required to register here for the meeting; individuals who registered for the October 2012 event must register again. [emphasis mine] For more information, visit the ANSI-NSP webpage or contact Heather Benko ([email protected]), ANSI senior manager, nanotechnology standardization activities.

Standardization is one of the topics highlighted in Michael Berger’s Dec. 20, 2012 Nanowerk Spotlight article about environmental health and safety and a high-throughput screening (HTS) platform developed at the University of California’s Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN) that can perform toxicity screening of 24 metal oxide nanoparticles simultaneously,

According to the team, the HTS platform that has been demonstrated in this study could easily be adapted to study other nanomaterials of interest. The capability of HTS would also allow researchers to analyze multiple samples at different concentrations, time points, as well as varying experimental parameters – all in one setup. The standardization of the whole screening process by this HTS platform also minimizes human intervention and errors during the experiment.

I guess it’s the season for standardization. Ho, ho, ho!

Cadmium nanomaterials and biomagnification in the food chain

Given the recent uproar over cadmium in our local (British Columbia) oysters, this new study about nanoparticles formed from cadmium selenide and their possible absorption into the aquatic food chain caught my attention. From the Dec. 20, 2010 news item on physorg.com,

“We already knew that the bacteria were internalizing these nanoparticles from our previous study,” Holden [Patricia] said. “And we also knew that Ed (Orias) and Rebecca (Werlin) were working with a protozoan called Tetrahymena and nanoparticles. So we approached them and asked if they would be interested in a collaboration to evaluate how the protozoan predator is affected by the accumulated nanoparticles inside a bacterial prey.” Orias and Werlin credit their interest in nanoparticle toxicity to earlier funding from and participation in the University of California Toxic Substance Research & Training Program.

The scientists repeated the growth of the bacteria with quantum dots in the new study and and coupled it to a trophic transfer study –– the study of the transfer of a compound from a lower to a higher level in a food chain by predation. “We looked at the difference to the predator as it was growing at the expense of different prey types –– ‘control’ prey without any metals, prey that had been grown with a dissolved cadmium salt, and prey that had been grown with cadmium selenide quantum dots,” Holden said.

What they found was that the concentration of cadmium increased in the transfer from bacteria to protozoa and, in the process of increasing concentration, the nanoparticles were substantially intact, with very little degradation. “We were able to measure the ratio of the cadmium to the selenium in particles that were inside the protozoa and see that it was substantially the same as in the original nanoparticles that had been used to feed the bacteria,” Orias said.

The fact that the ratio of cadmium and selenide was preserved throughout the course of the study indicates that the nanoparticles were themselves biomagnified. “Biomagnification –– the increase in concentration of cadmium as the tracer for nanoparticles from prey into predator –– this is the first time this has been reported for nanomaterials in an aquatic environment, and furthermore involving microscopic life forms, which comprise the base of all food webs,” Holden said.

The scientists involved with the study are also associated with the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN).

As for the local oyster/cadmium situation (from a Dec. 14, 2010 article by Larry Pynn, Postmedia News on Canada.com),

Bendell [Leah Bendell, professor specializing in ecotoxicology at Simon Fraser University, BC] said the Canadian consumption advice barely meets international standards and does not take into account that cadmium levels are higher in “hot spots” in popular B.C. oyster-growing areas such as Baynes Sound near Denman Island, Desolation Sound north of Powell River, and Effingham Inlet at Barkley Sound.

One study in 2000 found B.C. oysters reached levels as high as 4.9 parts per million, while a 2004-05 study found levels of up to 3.57 parts per million. A workshop sponsored by Simon Fraser University in May estimated current cadmium levels in B.C. oysters at one to four parts per million.

Europe does not allow the importation of oysters containing more than one part per million of cadmium; Hong Kong’s limit is two parts per million.

The BC Centre for Disease Control states that “levels of cadmium are much lower in oysters elsewhere in the world.”

They are advising local oyster lovers to exercise moderation with regard to eating them.

As for biomagnification and cadmium nanoparticles, here’s what the lead scientist suggested,

“In this context, one might argue that if you could ‘design out’ whatever property of the quantum dots causes them to enter bacteria, then we could avoid this potential consequence,” Holden said. “That would be a positive way of viewing a study like this. Now scientists can look back and say, ‘How do we prevent this from happening?’ ” [emphasis mine]