Nano-enabled Consumer Products: Inventories, Release, and Exposures

S. F. Hansen*, A. Mackevica, M. S. Hull*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    Given the challenges of simply defining the boundaries of what are or are not “nano” products, the concept of nano-specific consumer product inventories has arguably been one of the most important results from more than a decade of international investment in nanotechnology risk-related research, tools, and resources. Two inventories are considered especially important and are widely cited in peer-reviewed publications, grant applications, conferences and symposia, and the media. Those inventories are: (1) the Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory (CPI) developed in 2005 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ (WWICS) Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) and (2) the Danish Nanodatabase established in 2012 by the Technical University of Denmark’s Department of Environmental Engineering (DTU Environment). These inventories were intended to provide relevant information about consumer products that may contain engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and thereby, based on precautionary principle and the potential for the release of ENMs (either intentionally or unintentionally), may pose unique risks to end users and environmental systems. This chapter informs others in this book by looking specifically at what we have learned through the process of curating inventories of nano-enabled products, particularly in the US and Europe. While additional work and resources are needed to improve these inventories, some initial trends have become evident through recent assessments of the CPI and Nanodatabase published by Vance et al. (Beilstein J Nanotechnol 6:1769–1780, 2015) and Hansen et al. (Environ Sci Nano 3:169–180, 2016), respectively. Their findings, which we must be careful to interpret as snapshots in time and subject to change as new products emerge and consumer trends vary, may provide important insights into critical questions such as (1) which products are most likely to contain nanoscale materials, (2) which nanomaterials are encountered most often in those products, (3) how likely nanomaterials are to be released from certain products and at what rates, (4) what analytical approaches and studies should be prioritized to help protect human health and the environment, and various others. Carefully and regularly curated inventories of nano-enabled consumer products may help researchers determine which product usage scenarios are likely to result in the release of ENMs and ENM/composite materials.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNanotoxicology in Humans and the Environment
    EditorsJamie R. Lead, Shareen H. Doak, Martin J.D. Clift
    Number of pages43
    Publication date2021
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-79807-9
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-79808-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    SeriesMolecular and Integrative Toxicology


    • Consumer products
    • Danish Nanodatabase
    • Exposure
    • Inventory
    • Nanomaterial
    • Nanotechnology
    • Nanotechnology consumer products inventory
    • Release


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