CEFIC and PACTE
Nanocyl is member of CEFIC, the European Council of the Chemical Industry and in this frame is participating in the Management Team on Nanomaterials dealing with all regulatory and HSE issues linked to the production and use of nanomaterials.
Under the CEFIC umbrella, the European producers of carbon nanotubes are cooperating in the frame of the PACTE sector group, in which they are sharing HSE information, developing research projects and reviewing the safest ways of handling carbon nanotubes (CNTS) at production site and along the user chain, for example by publishing a joint Code of Conduct. These are in line with the Product Stewardship programs and the Responsible Care Global Charter developed by the chemical industry to ensure safe handling of products and care for the environment. The PACTE members are Arkema, Bayer and Nanocyl.
Nanocyl is also collaborating with the Chemical Company, BASF, to carry out a 90 days inhalation study on rats in order to better understand the potential toxic effects of CNTs. This collaboration aims also to develop HSE data in order to define the conditions of the safe handling of carbon nanotubes. Exposure scenarios have been developed not only for the production but also for several applications of CNTs, in particular the use of CNT as additive in plastic materials.
One of the key questions in assessing the risk of nanomaterials to human or the environment is the possibility of measuring the exposure levels in a reliable way. Most of the classical methods used for measuring the concentration and size of particles are not directly applicable to the nanoscale. Moreover, the methods able to quantitatively detect nanoparticles are generally relatively sophisticated and difficult to handle on a day to day basis. The company NANEUM, based in UK, developed a new, effective, portable apparatus capable of measuring the concentration and the distribution of particles between a few nanometers up to 30 micrometers. This device, which has been tested in Nanocyl, is completed by an analytical tool able to identify the CNTs among the natural background nanoparticles. With this instrument, it is possible to measure the exposure level on a day to day basis in industrial facilities or in research laboratories. On this basis a service to customers could be considered in the near future.