NSTI Nanotech 2009

Safe nanotextiles from a life cycle perspective

C. Som, M. Halbeisen, A. Koehler, M. Heuberger
Empa Materials Science and Technology, CH

Keywords: nanotextile, engineered nanoparticles, integration models, release, life cycle, safe product, sustainable innovation


The industry aims at taking advantage of the opportunities of new nanomaterials while producing safe products. A dose-effect relationship of the engineered nanoparticles is not clearly established yet. From this viewpoint, the product is only safe as long as no unin-tended release of engineered nanoparticles, nor exposure to them, takes place. Up to now there are only few experiments done on the release of engineered nanoparticles from products. In our study on textile applications, we found at least nine different integration modes how engineered nanoparticles can be integrated in textiles and be linked to the textile matrix. This study was conducted by literature research and expert interviews. In this paper, we will describe the different integration models and the relevant factors that may influence the stability of the integration of the engineered nanoparticles. Additionally, we will explain the impacts on textile applications that can occur throughout their life cycle and how these impacts may influence the release of engineered nanoparticles. We conclude that release and exposure scenarios throughout the nanotextile life cycle depend on the “construction” of the specific nanotextile. With our proposal we intend to provide a base for structuring further discussion on safe innovation for nanotextiles.
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