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April 12, 2017

Swiss National Research Program Will Hold Closure Event in June

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On June 2, 2017, the National Research Program “Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials” (NRP 64) will hold a closure event, parallel to the Swiss Nano Convention, which will be held June 1-2, 2017.  NRP 64 began its research work in December 2010 and has studied the development, use, behavior, and degradation of synthetic nanomaterials, as well as their impact on humans and the environment.  During the closure event, NRP 64 will present the most important findings and current state of the art in nanotechnology research.  NRP 64’s final brochure on the results, outcome, and perspectives provides an overview of the most important highlights, insights, and recommendations to industry and regulatory entities with regard to a “suitable handling of nanomaterials from the point of fabrication, to use in practice, right down to their disposal.”  The final brochure asks which of the two, opportunities or risks of nanomaterials, “wins.”  Peter Gehr, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Histology at the University of Berne, President of the NRP 64 Steering Committee, states:

Without a doubt the opportunities.  Synthetic nanomaterials have a scientific, an industrial and a medical-clinical potential that is second to none.  However, market-ready applications are only possible when we are on safe ground, this means we must always keep a keen eye on weighing up the risks.  Credit must be given to the NRP 64 for having enabled us to make this great stride forwards.  We now know where we need further scientific foundations and where further research potential exists.  And we are able to declare that the precautionary matrix put together by the Federal Office of Public Health, which allows industry and trade to weigh up the health and environmental risks of handling nanoproducts, is fit for its purpose at present, and that no further regulations in the sense of restricting application, are needed at present.