The European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) has published a study that has systematically reviewed and critically assessed the potential health and environmental effects of graphene, graphene oxide, and other two-dimensional (2D) materials, based on existing public information of the last ten years. EUON is hosted and maintained by ECHA, the European Chemical Agency.
The study was performed by Innovamol Consulting Srl, Modena (Italy), collaborating with ISOF researchers. The experts involved in the work are ISOF researchers Greta Varchi, Vincenzo Palermo and Marco Daniele Parenti, ISOF research associate Alberto Del Rio and CNRS researcher Alberto Bianco.
The systematic review covered publications, books, research reports, research and review papers, analysing more than 8000 documents.
The literature search targeted potential adverse effects of graphene, graphene oxide and other 2D materials on human health or on the environment; the outcomes of this study highlighted the necessity to provide in any study a thorough characterisation of each type of graphene and 2D material in terms of chemical composition, structure, lateral size, number of layers, and that there is a strong need for specific and multiple analytical and spectroscopic methods for the detection and quantification of graphene and related carbon nanomaterials.
The study also suggests areas were additional research is required, and remarked that conclusions on toxicity and ecotoxicity should not be generalized and need to be associated to a precise description of the material used in the tests.
The study is Open access, and can be downloaded at the links below.