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Size at which Materials gain 'Nanospecific Properties' unclear, says Study endorsed by RIVM

chinese academy scienc 20120920A study commissioned by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has found that there is neither 'the experimental data nor the theoretical explanations' to determine the size at which 'properties [of materials] are changed to "nanospecific properties"'. The authority had funded this study so it could create 'size thresholds [that] can then be used to prepare the Dutch input into the foreseen review of the nanomaterial definition'.

The report, entitled What Defines Nanomaterials? concluded 'that physical chemical depend on particle size at the nanoscale'. However, 'the particle size at which effects occur can vary with the property, the material tested, and the experimental conditions'.


Due to the nature of the work, the commissioned body selected and prioritised the 'physicochemical parameters that were thought to be particularly relevant to nanomaterials and to the regulation of chemical substances under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation'. These properties were:

  • Surface morphology and crystalline structure
  • Water solubility
  • Reactivity
  • Photocatalytic reactivity
Source: Nanotechnology Industries Association
NanoJam 2012-11-25

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