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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Chair, Conservative Party 1922 Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will assess the feasibility of utilising electron microscopy in the evaluation of nanoparticles.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Electron microscopy is extensively used and provides a valuable tool in the characterisation and evaluation of nanoparticles. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have been used to characterise and measure nanoparticles for many years and they continue to be part of UK and EU research into nanomaterials. Standards are being developed for the use of TEM and SEM to look at carbon nanotubes and there is a working group in the international Standards Organisation's Nanotechnologies Committee which is developing a standard to measure primary particle size using electron microscopy.

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