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10 years of risk assessment for nanomaterials – conclusions to date: no unusual risks

The intermediary report on „10 Years of Research: Risk Assessment, Human and Environmental Toxicology of Nanomaterials” by the joint DECHEMA/VCI Working Group “Responsible Production and Use of Nanomaterials” is now available in English.

Experts from industry and research institutions have compiled 60 pages with the current status of safety research and give an overview on national and European projects on safety research of various nanomaterials for humans and the environment. At present, no extraordinary risks are known.

The researchers point out that the size label “nano” does not represent an intrinsic hazard characteristic; instead, the impact of nanomaterials depends on other factors as well, such as the nature of the material. However, newly developed nanomaterials have to be submitted to a risk assessment just like any other new product. The researchers call for an adequate infrastructure in toxicology research and education in order to enable a continuous safety research based on high quality and international research standards.

The Working Group „Responsible Production and Use of Nanomaterials“ is jointly organized by DECHEMA and VCI. It aims at identifying chances but also potential risks of chemical nanotechnology and by establishing appropriate measures at supporting the economically and technically successful implementation with regard to ethical, ecological, societal and economical aspects.

VCI (German Chemical Industry Association)represents the politico-economic interests of 1,600 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign enterprises in contacts with politicians, public authorities, other industries, the world of science and the media.. VCI represents over 90% of the entire German chemical industry. An industry that realised sales € 171,1 billion in 2010 and employed some 415,000 staff.

The DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e. V. (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) is a non-profit scientific and technical society based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It has more than 5,500 private and institutional members, among them scientists, engineers, companies, organisations and institutes. One aim of DECHEMA is to promote and support research and technological progress in Chemical Technology and Biotechnology . DECHEMA regards itself as interface between science, economy, state and public.

Dr. Kathrin Rübberdt | idw
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