In the future the thermoplastic polymer nanoparticles will be the main protagonists of the new solutions in the field of high performance compounds.
However, some environmental and safety aspects of products functionalised with nanoparticles are still to be thoroughly investigated.
LATI is a qualified partner in the Nanopolytox project (Toxicological impact of nanomaterials derived from processing, weathering and recycling of polymer nanocomposites used in various industrial applications), funded under the EU Seventh Framework Programme.
The aim of this project is to evaluate the toxicological impact of nanoparticles inside the compound used in different industries and during the entire lifespan of the artefact including the later stages of recycling or destruction.
It will also assess the effect of aging and degradation over time of the resin, in order to estimate the amount and danger of the nanoparticles that may be released into the environment.
The profiles of the toxicological and ecotoxicological studies of the nanoparticles obtained through both in-vitro and in vivo, in combination with physical-chemistry data will be used to perform LCIA (Life Cycle Impact Assessment) analysis that will provide not only a model describing the behaviour of these particle once released from the matrix, but also a framework of biological risks related to their release into the environment.