EU Decides – Nano Material Definition (measured by number concentration rather than mass)

December 2011

On 18 October 2011 the EU Commission adopted the Recommendation on the definition of a nanomaterial. According to this recommendation a “Nanomaterial” means:

A natural, incidental or manufactured material containing particles, in an unbound state or as an aggregate or as an agglomerate and where, for 50 % or more of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions is in the size range 1 nm – 100 nm. 
In specific cases and where warranted by concerns for the environment, health, safety or competitiveness the number size distribution threshold of 50 % may be replaced by a threshold between 1 and 50 %.
By derogation from the above, fullerenes, graphene flakes and single wall carbon nanotubes with one or more external dimensions below 1 nm should be considered as nanomaterials.

Europe is the first area to make a decision on this definition and guidance from the Scientific Committee (SCHENIR) included an argument, that in its opinion “a low mass concentration of nanoparticles in a product may still represent a high number of particles and a mass based distribution can be skewed by the presence of relatively few large and thus heavy particles“. Therefore it considered number size distribution as a more relevant metric for possible effects of nanoparticles than mass concentration.

This is a move away from other existing regulatory / industry specific metrics, which are based on mass and aerodynamic separation and sampling methods and it will be interesting to see how this decision impacts on these other measurement systems in the future.  The dosage metric for inhaled delivery of drug products is one area which comes to mind, breathing / medical air definitions together with ambient environment and vehicle exhaust monitoring.

It is still very early days in ‘nano material’ safety.  We continue to investigate the impact of micron sized particles on environmental health and there will be some years of discussion and development of standards and methods.  I’m sure that discussion will follow on how we define the size measurement, based on method used, but whatever the method I suspect that it has got to be easier to measure dimensions rather than trying to capture particles in a specific size range < 100nm and then weigh them (and by the way this could be debated with micron sized particles too) ?

IBR Laboratories — Partnership

November 2011

Filter Integrity Limited is proud to announce that it has entered into a partnership with IBR Laboratories of Grass Lake Michigan USA to promote and develop filter testing and performance validation capabilities. Andrew Chalmers, Director at Filter Integrity Limited commented: I’m personally delighted to have agreed a partnership with IBR Laboratories. I’ve worked with Susan and her team over […]

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The Filtration Society – a source of Knowledge and Support

October 2011

The Filtration Society is a not for profit organisation formed by filtration / separation professionals back in 1964, with an aim to advance and disseminate knowledge on the design and use of filtration and separation techniques in industry, commerce and other walks of life. The Society has a membership covering over 30 countries and continues to offer […]

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Training Courses on Particle Measurement for Filter Testing and Aerosol Technology for Cleanrooms

October 2011

Two 1-day training courses presented in English are to be held at the Palas GmbH facility in Karlsruhe during November 2011: Particle Measurement Technology for Filter Testing – Wed 16th Nov Led by Martin Schmidt, Jürgen Spielvogel and Sven Schütz this course covers: Definitions – fractional and total separation efficiencies Particle Measurement basics Aerosol Spectrometers – assessment of welas® digital Principles […]

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Simultaneous UK Aerosol Conferences

September 2011

It’s all happening in the first full week in September which brings two conferences / exhibitions for particle scientists in the UK. EAC 2011 the European Aerosol Conference from 4th – 9th Sept in Manchester this year promises to be the biggest and best yet, with a packed schedule and a good number of exhibition stands.  FIL will be joining […]

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Filtration Society to hold fifth Filter Media Training and Conference

September 2011

The Filtration Society, which is a not for profit organsation with the aim to advance and disseminate knowledge on the design and use of filtration and separation techniques in industry, commerce and other walks of life announces Filter Media 5 the fifth in a series of training seminar, conference and exhibitions on filter media, to be held at […]

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NEW MFP ULPA Nano Filter Media Test Stand extends test range down to 5nm

May 2011

Following the launch of the new Nano instruments at FILTECH 2011 the natural development of the MFP range of filter media testing stands has followed. MFP ULPA Nano takes the well established MFP automation and control and adds: the new Differential Electrical Mobility Classifier or DEMC allowing the generation of stream of mono-disperse particles in the 3 – 800 nm range from […]

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