Nanotechnology and Consumer Products – Addressing Exposure Data Needs

T. Thomas
US Consumer Product Safety Commission, US

Keywords: nanomaterials, nanotechnology, exposure, consumer products


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent regulatory agency created in 1973. CPSC’s jurisdiction includes thousands of types of consumer products used in or around the home. The potential safety and health risks of nanomaterials, as with other compounds that are incorporated into consumer products, can be assessed under existing CPSC statutes, regulations and guidelines. The introduction of consumer products containing nanomaterials into the marketplace may require unique exposure and risk assessment strategies. Identifying any potential health hazards from a specific product will require characterization of the materials to which a consumer is exposed during product use, including assessment of the size distribution of the materials released. Once the exposure has been characterized, toxicological data that is appropriate for the particle sizes represented in the exposure assessment will be used in any assessment of health risks. Developing robust methods for characterizing and quantifying nanomaterials is a critical need, and the CPSC staff has been working with federal partners to meet exposure data gaps.