An overview of global safety activities on cellulose nanomaterials

K.J. Ong, J.A. Shatkin, J.D. Ede
Vireo Advisors, LLC,

Keywords: cellulose nanomaterials, safety, EHS, global activities, environmental health and safety


Bio-based materials such as cellulose nanomaterials have gained considerable attention due to their renewability and exceptional mechanical properties, as well as their economic value and environmental value. Cellulose nanomaterials have made the crossover from research and development stages to commercialization in markets such as personal care and cosmetics, foods and food additives, and packaging applications. As a result, there has been an expansion in related environmental health and safety research to ensure the safe commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials. We will provide an overview of the global safety activities relevant to the manufacturing of cellulose nanomaterials and their related products. This presentation will examine the current state of research on suitable and reliable safety testing that can be translated into safer commercialization. This will provide perspective on current best practices and will help companies manage risks to ensure protection of their workers, consumers, and the environment. We will report on efforts by standardization bodies, industry, and academic labs in the areas of occupational exposure, consumer exposure, end-of-life disposal, life cycle analysis and benefits/impact analysis, as well as those advancing characterization techniques for safety evaluations. In particular, activities working to fill gaps in cellulose nanomaterial environmental health and safety research will be highlighted. This presentation will highlight the ‘state of the art’ knowledge and future developments, which will provide insight on how to develop an industrially relevant approach to safety and commercialization of nanomaterials.