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March 29, 2013

Agencies Publish Report And Recommendations Concerning Health And Safety Of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 20, 2013, five German agencies published a report entitled Nanotechnology — Health and Environmental Risks of Nanomaterials, which includes a joint set of recommendations for future safety assessments of nanomaterials. Under a joint research strategy set up in 2007, over 80 research projects on nanomaterials were reviewed. The report includes recommendations to:

  • Develop adequate measurement methods for risk assessment;
  • Develop reference materials for exposure assessment and studies into the effects of nanomaterials on humans and the environment;
  • Validate and harmonize test and evaluation strategies “in a national and international context” to allow results to be compared;
  • Develop screening tests for adverse health and environmental risks at an early stage of material innovation;
  • Develop ideas for labeling single nanomaterials; and
  • Work on grouping nanomaterials based on their properties to reduce the number of complex single investigations.

The report was prepared by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Federal Environment Agency, Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, and Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt.