Comparison of the behaviour of manufactured and other airborne nanoparticles and the consequences for prioritising research and regulation activities.
ABSTRACT Currently, there are no air quality regulations in force in any part of the world to control number concentrations of airborne atmospheric nanoparticles (ANPs). This is partly due to a lack of reliable information on measurement methods, dispersion characteristics, modelling, health and other environmental impacts. Because of the special characteristics of manufactured (also termed engineered or synthesised) nanomaterials or nanoparticles (MNPs), a substantial increase is forecast for their manufacture and use, despite understanding of safe design and use, and health and environmental implications being in its early stage. This article discusses a number of underlining technical issues by comparing the properties and behaviour of MNPs with anthropogenically produced ANPs. Such a comparison is essential for the judicious treatment of the MNPs in any potential air quality regulatory framework for ANPs.