Life cycle considerations for engineered nanomaterials: A case study for nano-enabled coatings on drywall

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Engineered nanomaterials are being incorporated into elements of the building industry. Advantages such as increased resistance to ultraviolet damage, wear and fouling of construction materials are relevant to coatings. Particles engineered at the nanometer size scale have been shown to replace toxic biocides and can be used for purification, insulation, and self-cleaning. The development of engineered nanomaterials in this economic area is expected to develop rapidly; however, the safety of these materials to humans and the surrounding environment must be studied in parallel to their incorporation into consumer products. One valuable way to gather information critical to the development of safe nanomaterials is through a product life cycle approach. This research characterizes the bulk material (i.e. dry wall) with the nanoparticle-enabled product (i.e. white paint) in its intact and degraded forms. After the simulated wear scenarios are performed on the painted wall, the released aerosolized particles are analyzed. The released particles are collected and exposed to pulmonary tissue for a toxicological evaluation. Results show that differential physicochemical properties and toxicological responses are induced between particle-types with and without incorporated engineered nanomaterials. The impact of this research will help to enable sustainable opportunities of nanotechnology in the built environment.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2013: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy (Volume 3)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 742 - 745
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Energy & Sustainability
Topics: Materials for Sustainable Building, Sustainable Materials
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0586-2