(217f) Forensic Analysis of Nano-Material Environmental Regulation | AIChE

(217f) Forensic Analysis of Nano-Material Environmental Regulation

Forensic Analysis of Nanomaterial Environmental Regulation

Coby A. Scher – Quest Consulting, Inc. (Presenter)

& Dennis L. Caputo – Quest Consulting, Inc.

Some considerable effort has recently been displayed by manufacturers, researchers, regulatory bodies, professional organizations, NGOs, and other interested parties addressing how nanomaterials and their manufacture should be environmentally regulated.  In the USA, everyone including EPA, FDA, ABA, universities and a host of other entities (including companies) are trying to voice an opinion.  The executive branch of the federal government with congress’s approval and funding has created an investigatory group examining the regulatory potential.  Internationally, the EU and ISO are investigating the subject of “nano-regulation”.  There is a body of thought within science and engineering termed forensics.  In fact, the pure definition of forensic according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, is “1; belonging to, used in, or suitable to courts of judicature or to public discussion and debate 2: Argumentative, rhetorical 3: Relating to or dealing with the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems.”  All three parts of the definition are applicable to the issue at hand – the application of forensics to the environmental regulation of nanomaterials.  It is the authors’ contention that use of environmental forensics to encompass scientific investigative methods will provide the answer to what level of regulation is required.  Forensic environmental science and engineering is a state of mind; an analytical approach to solving this problem.  And it need not be complicated, just complete and scientifically defensible.  This paper will update the current governmental movement toward environmental regulation of nanomaterials and apply a forensic approach to solving the problem of nanomaterial environmental regulation.