The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have agreed to a collaborative effort for worldwide research to determine any potential impacts nanomaterials have on health and the environment. Nanomaterials are present in a number of household products. Dr. Tina Bahadori, national program director for EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research said in a statement, “Nanotechnology and nanomaterials used in the development of these products improve our everyday lives, but it is important that we understand how humans are exposed to nanomaterials and to assess the risks they may pose to people’s health and the environment.”

The collaborative research is part of a larger international effort. That larger effort targets five areas. Among them are: identifying, characterizing and quantifying the origins of nanomaterials; determining how nanomaterials interact with the human body and the environment; and sharing knowledge through online applications which will allow for research to progress much faster. The CPSC is also working with other federal agencies to address public health concerns. They are developing protocols to assess the potential release of nanomaterials from consumer products; developing rules for consumer product testing to better evaluate exposure; and determining the potential health impacts of nanomaterials used in consumer products.