Measuring Nanomaterial Release from Carbon Nanotube Composites: Review of the State of the Science

Stacey Harper, Wendel Wohlleben, Maria Doa, Bernd Nowack, Shaun Clancy, Richard Canady, Andrew Maynard

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Hazard studies of "as-produced" nanomaterials are increasingly available, yet a critical gap exists in exposure science that may impede safe development of nanomaterials. The gap is that we do not understand what is actually released because nanomaterials can change when released in ways that are not understood. We also generally do not have methods capable of quantitatively measuring what is released to support dose assessment. This review presents a case study of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for the measurement challenge to bridge this gap. As the use and value of MWCNTs increases, methods to measure what is released in ways relevant to risk evaluation are critically needed if products containing these materials are to be economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. This review draws on the input of over 50 experts engaged in a program of workshops and technical report writing to address the release of MWCNTs from nanocomposite materials across their life cycle. The expert analyses reveals that new and sophisticated methods are required to measure and assess MWCNT exposures for realistic exposure scenarios. Furthermore, method requirements vary with the materials and conditions of release across life cycle stages of products. While review shows that the likelihood of significant release of MWCNTs appears to be low for many stages of composite life cycle, measurement methods are needed so that exposures from MWCNT-composites are understood and managed. In addition, there is an immediate need to refocus attention from study of "as-produced" nanomaterials to coordinated research on actual release scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012026
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 26 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Conference on Safe Production and Use of Nanomaterials, NANOSAFE 2014 - Grenoble, France
Duration: Nov 18 2014Nov 20 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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