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February 26, 2019

ECHA Interview Focuses on Research on Safety of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The February 2019 issue of the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Newsletter includes an interview with Eva Valsami-Jones, Professor of Environmental Nanoscience at the University of Birmingham and leader of the European Union (EU) NanoSafety Cluster Coordination Team, on research on the safety of nanomaterials.  The NanoSafety Cluster coordinates the funding of research projects at the European level that address the safety aspects of nanomaterials and the related technologies, such as toxicity, exposure, and standardization.  In the interview, Valsami-Jones states that “[t]he greatest information-based need we currently have is a better ability to perform read-across between datasets.”  When asked what the future of nanoresearch looks like, Valsami-Jones responded that nanomaterials “are increasingly becoming part of the big picture on chemicals.  In the near future, I expect there will be a need to study them as a part of a larger family of chemicals, rather than as a distinct entity.”  According to Valsami-Jones, in terms of determining the safety of nanomaterials, there has been a lot of concerted effort in the EU, and a lot of good science has been carried out.  She notes that as a consumer, “I can say that I feel safe when buying products on the EU market, and that I trust that the manufactured nanomaterials I come into contact with in my daily life are safe.”