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Nanomaterials production involves several potential environmental risks directly related to the production process (production, functionalisation and incorporation into nanocomposites), and nanowastes generated could comprise items such as contaminated wipes, filters and discarded components. Assessment of their impact is a function of their intrinsic characteristics, the manufacturing process, size of batch production, storage and distribution. In general, companies involved in nanotechnology have a high technological background.

In general, companies involved in nanotechnology, mainly SMEs, have a high technological component, the fact some of them are spin-off, that have emerged from existing research institution (university generally). According to different studies, of European nanomaterials manufacturers companies, high percentage of the nanomaterials producers are micro and small enterprises. Therefore, given these characteristics of the nanomaterials manufacturers companies (small size and technological component), it is likely that there exist a lack of knowledge related to: environmental aspects and their impact involved; laws that the companies must to complain and administrative/bureaucratic procedures necessaries.

i-NANOTool project is currently completing the testing of the etool with the help of some nanotechnology companies from Spain, Portugal, Finland and Romania. This etool will give information about the current environmental legislation and methods to evaluate the environmental impact. It will analyze the grade of compliance of the companies in relation to the legislation and provide recommendations to improve their situation according to the self-diagnosis. Etool provides guidelines for managing the environmental impact, both during production process and in the end of the life-cycle.

The etool will be available on project’s website and it is in open use for all nanotechnology companies who are interested to know more about their environmental impacts and legislative burden. It will be validated in 8 European companies and it is expected to be available on-line in the end of September 2014.

i-NanoTool project is funded by LIFE+2012 Program (LIFE12 ENV/ES/000326). It was launched on 1st of July of 2013 and will finish in December of 2015.

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Hanna-Kaisa Koponen

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Hanna-Kaisa Koponen

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