[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 146 (Friday, July 31, 2009)]
[Pages 38188-38190]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-18386]



[FRL-8933-6; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2009-0495]

Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in Water 
Treatment and Topical Sunscreen

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Public Comment Period.


SUMMARY: EPA is announcing a 45-day public comment period for the draft 
document titled, ``Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium 
Dioxide in Water Treatment and Topical Sunscreen'' (EPA/600/R-09/057). 
The document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental 
Assessment within EPA's Office of Research and Development. The case 
studies focus on two different applications of nanoscale titanium 
dioxide, water treatment and topical sunscreen. The document is 
intended to serve as a foundation for creating a long-term research 
strategy to provide the information needed for comprehensive 
environmental assessments of selected nanomaterials. It does not 
attempt to draw conclusions regarding potential environmental risks

[[Page 38189]]

of nanoscale titanium dioxide, but only to identify what is known and 
what needs to be known to support future assessment efforts.
    EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of pre-
dissemination peer review under applicable information quality 
guidelines. This document has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It 
does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency 
policy or determination. When finalizing the draft document, EPA 
intends to consider any public comments that EPA receives in accordance 
with this notice.

DATES: The 45-day public comment period begins July 31, 2009, and ends 
September 14, 2009. Technical comments should be in writing and must be 
received by EPA by September 14, 2009.

ADDRESSES: The draft ``Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium 
Dioxide in Water Treatment and Topical Sunscreen'' is available 
primarily via the Internet on the National Center for Environmental 
Assessment's home page under the Recent Additions and the Data and 
Publications menus at http://www.epa.gov/ncea. A limited number of 
paper copies are available from Deborah Wales, NCEA-RTP, Research 
Triangle Park, NC 27711; phone: (919) 541-4731; facsimile: (919) 541-
5078. If you are requesting a paper copy, please provide your name, 
your mailing address, and the document title, ``Nanomaterial Case 
Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in Water Treatment and Topical 
    Comments may be submitted electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, by mail, by facsimile, or by hand delivery/
courier. Please follow the detailed instructions provided in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the public comment 
period, contact the Office of Environmental Information Docket; 
telephone: (202) 566-1752; facsimile: (202) 566-1753; or e-mail: 
[email protected].
    For technical information, contact Dr. J. Michael Davis, NCEA; 
telephone: (919) 541-4162; facsimile: (919) 685-3331; or e-mail: 
[email protected].


I. Information About the Project/Document

    Engineered nanoscale materials (nanomaterials) are conventionally 
defined as having at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers 
(nm) and unique properties that arise from their small size. Like all 
technological developments, nanomaterials offer the potential for both 
benefits and risks. The assessment of such risks and benefits requires 
information, but given the nascent state of nanotechnology, much 
remains to be learned about the characteristics and effects of 
nanomaterials before such assessments can be completed. The draft 
document, ``Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in 
Water Treatment and Topical Sunscreen,'' is a starting point to 
identify what is known and, more importantly, what needs to be known 
about selected nanomaterial applications--in this case, for nanoscale 
titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2)--to assess their potential 
ecological and health implications. The complex properties of various 
nanomaterials make evaluating them in the abstract or with 
generalizations difficult if not impossible. Thus, this document 
focuses on two specific uses of nano-TiO2, as a drinking 
water treatment and as topical sunscreen. These ``case studies'' do not 
represent completed or even preliminary assessments; rather, they 
present the structure for identifying and prioritizing research needed 
to support future assessments. The case studies follow the 
comprehensive environmental assessment (CEA) approach, which combines a 
product life-cycle framework with the risk assessment paradigm. In 
essence, risk assessment relates exposure and effects information for a 
given substance or stressor, and CEA expands on this paradigm by 
including life-cycle stages and considering both indirect and direct 
ramifications of a substance or stressor.

II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at http://www.regulations.gov

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2009-
0495, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected]
     Fax: (202) 566-1753
     Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket 
(Mail Code: 2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is (202) 
     Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center, Room 3334 EPA West Building, 1301 
Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center's Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744. Such deliveries are only accepted 
during the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements 
should be made for deliveries of boxed information. If you provide 
comments by mail or hand delivery, please submit three copies of the 
comments. For attachments, provide an index, number pages consecutively 
with the comments, and submit an unbound original and three copies.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-
2009-0495. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the 
specified comment period. Comments received after the closing date will 
be marked ``late,'' and may only be considered if time permits. It is 
EPA's policy to include all comments it receives in the public docket 
without change and to make the comments available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless a comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-
mail. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous 
access'' system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact 
information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you 
send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your e-mail address will be automatically captured 
and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket 
and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic 
comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact 
information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you 
submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties 
and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to 
consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special 
characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or 
viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the 
EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: Documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information

[[Page 38190]]

whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other materials, 
such as copyrighted material, are publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the 
EPA Headquarters Docket Center.

    Dated: July 8, 2009.
Rebecca Clark,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. E9-18386 Filed 7-30-09; 8:45 am]