BUFFALO, NY – The Graphene Stakeholders Association (GSA) announced that it is collaborating with a team of scientists at the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) to explore environmental, health & safety (EH&S) issues related to graphene and other 2D materials. The collaboration is part of the GSA’s mission of promoting the responsible development of graphene and other 2D materials.
“Past experience with the development of other advanced materials shows a clear need for proper and well-conducted scientific research to clarify issues related to environmental, health and safety of such materials. Having worked with advanced materials for over three decades, I appreciate the challenges associated with development of new and novel materials that have a great deal of commercial potential in many different industries and for many applications, but have not been properly defined, standardized or characterized,” said GSA co-founder Keith Blakely. “These activities are a big part of the GSA’s mission and we are delighted to be collaborating with Dr. Roger Buchanan and his colleagues at the Arkansas Research Alliance on important EH&S-related issues.”
Dr. Buchanan stated: “My colleagues and I at the Arkansas Research Alliance are looking forward to collaborating with the GSA to provide scientific insights and guidance on EH&S-related issues with graphene and other 2D materials. There is much work to be done in this area. We concur with the GSA that it is important to bring rigorous analysis and testing to bear on issues related to the environment, health and safety of 2-D materials.”
“A recent paper by researchers at UC Riverside studying the health effects of graphene oxide highlights the need for groups like the GSA and ARA to work together to provide guidance to key stakeholders in the community. Graphene oxide is not graphene, so to draw any EH&S-related conclusions about graphene from a study on graphene oxide would be an error,” said GSA co-Executive Director, Stephen Waite. “In this day and age of the Internet and social media, there is the potential for much confusion and misinformation – especially when it comes to topics that require considerable knowledge of chemistry physics and biology to understand. We are working diligently to help promote definitions to foster the study of such materials in the environmental from a health and safety perspective. Without proper definitions, we don’t know what we are studying,” noted Waite.
The GSA is delighted to be collaborating with groups like the ARA and the National Physical Laboratory who can assist with providing scientific guidance on key issues related to the sustainable development and use of graphene and other 2D materials. The association is working on an initiative to create a Center of Excellence that would serve as a premier global network to foster research, innovation and commercialization of graphene and other 2D materials through collaboration.