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April 3, 2019

BCCM Consortia Work Reflected in ISO Standard

B&C Consortia Management

“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” captures perfectly how the ideas from a small but passionate B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM) group were transformed into an international standard. 

Almost a decade ago, in June 2011, a group of stakeholders involved with the production, assessment, and use of nanomaterials convened a workshop in California to share information on existing and emerging measurement strategies and to exchange ideas on expectations for the future.  Attendees at the workshop included the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the State Water Resources Control Board, each of which supported the need for additional information on the critical issue of measuring nanomaterials in the environment.  In response to this request, the initial group of stakeholders formed the Industry Consortium for the Environmental Measurement of Nanomaterials or ICEMN.

Over the course of several years, ICEMN members, which included representatives from industry, academia, and government groups, worked collectively and cooperatively to compile information that would address the challenge of environmental measurement of nanoscale materials and to enhance the state of the science in this regard.  In March 2013, a series of articles authored by ICEMN representatives was published in a special issue of Environmental Engineering Science, “Environmental Nanomaterials Reviews,” available at

The articles were written to be particularly useful for regulatory agencies, especially those at the state level, tasked with addressing the measurement of engineered nanomaterials in the environment.  The articles provided a practical guide for regulatory groups and other stakeholders interested in learning about the techniques and issues around nanomaterial measurement in water, air, and soil. 

Having achieved its purpose, following the publication of the papers, the ICEMN disbanded.  The seed that had been sown by ICEMN — to educate on the state of the science on environmental measurement of nanomaterials — slowly but steadily grew.  Interest on an international scale was cultivated and scientists from around the globe became engaged, resulting in the newly published International Standard Organization’s (ISO) “Nanotechnologies — Considerations for the measurement of nano-objects and their aggregates and agglomerates (NOAA) in environmental matrices,” Technical Report 21386 (ISO/TR 21386:2019). 

Recognition must be given to Dr. Raymond David, former ICEMN Chair, for his time, passion, and years-long commitment to creating the ISO document and pursuing it through publication. We all owe Dr. David a debt of gratitude for his outstanding contribution to scholarship and stewarding the publication of this essential and groundbreaking achievement.

BCCM is proud of our group’s contribution to the creation of this global effort that will have a long-term and significant positive impact on the nanotechnology world.