Joint EPA/NSF Nanotechnology Research Center Receives Prestigious Award
Grantee Research Project Results
EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grantees with the University of California - Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC-CEIN) were awarded the California Governor's Environment and Economic Leadership Award Program (GEELA) in the Green Chemistry category.
The annual award is California’s highest environmental honor and recognizes those individuals, organizations, and businesses that demonstrate exceptional leadership and contributions toward conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State's economy.
UC-CEIN is an EPA and National Science Foundation (NSF) joint funded center focused on developing decision-making tools that can predict the health and environmental effects of engineered nanomaterials (NM), e.g, nanotubes and nanoparticles, as they move through the environment. NMs are in the range of 1-100 nanometers (10-9 m) and are commonly found in sunscreens, composites, sporting equipment, catalysts, and other manufactured products. Their abundance is expected to proliferate over time yet their health and environmental impacts are little known. The tools would incorporate information on the NMs distribution in the environment, identify animals that could be used as early sentinels to monitor their spread (if hazardous), and provide a computational framework for predictive risk assessments. One recent advance, as a result of this research, includes the ability to rank the toxicity of 24 metal oxide nanoparticles. These particles can now be prioritized for more intensive research. Other UC-CEIN research led to an understanding of how select metal oxide nanoparticles behave when released into seawater, freshwater, stormwater, and surface waters. This information is essential to understanding the fate and transport of nanoparticles as they move through the environment.
For more information on EPA Nanotechnology research, visit Nanotechnology & Nanomaterials Research.
For the GEELA press release visit: Governor Brown Announces Environmental Leadership Award Winners (PDF) (3 pp, 60 K)