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EPA-Expo-Box (A Toolbox for Exposure Assessors)

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Nanoscale materials (or "nanomaterials") exhibit unique properties that can be defined by their small size, ≤100 nanometers in at least one dimension. While nanoscale materials often have the same molecular composition as larger, non-nanoscale materials, they represent a unique class of substances independent of their larger counterparts because the small size results in unique physical-chemical characteristics. These distinctive characteristics allow for novel applications of intentionally engineered or manufactured nanomaterials, and can result in a unique set of fate, transport, exposure, and human or ecological health impact scenarios.

Illustration of size and scale of nanotechnology

Illustration of size and scale of nanotechnology (Image courtesy of National Nanotechnology Initiative)

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