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April 10, 2015

SCENIHR Identifies Use of Nanomaterials for Medical Imaging and Drug Delivery and Graphene Nanomaterials as Emerging Issues

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On April 9, 2015, the European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) posted a Position Statement on emerging and newly identified health risks to be drawn to the attention of the European Commission.  The primary purpose of the paper is to draw the attention of the EC to emerging issues in the non-food area that have been identified by SCENIHR members as having the potential to significantly impact human health and/or the environment in the future.  The criteria used to identify an emerging issue include novelty of the stressor or process; scale of possible impacts on man and/or the environment; severity of impacts for particular organisms (priority for life threatening); urgency, i.e., the temporal nature of the likely changes (priority for rapid increases); not investigated in depth recently by a reputable scientific body; and anticipated to be increasingly important over time.  The emerging issues identified include the use of nanomaterials for medical imaging and drug delivery and graphene nanomaterials.