Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Nanoparticles, Risk & Regulation

Abstract:
Journal of the Royal Society ‘Interface' publishes review of the current landscape of nanoparticle risk and regulation

Nanoparticles, Risk & Regulation

Edinburgh, UK | Posted on September 8th, 2009

Nanotechnology continues to be forecast to reap massive global benefits across multiple sectors. Increasing public awareness of nanotechnologies, linked to non-specifically regulated introduction of products containing nanomaterials into the market, and the increasing use of ‘Health & Safety' as an easy excuse for the prevention of desirable or beneficial activities by those unable or unwilling to understand them, makes heeding advice laid out by the Royal Society and Royal
Academy of Engineering ever more important to their responsible development.

Taking these issues into account, an article published last week within the Journal of the Royal Society ‘Interface', presents an objective review of the current landscape of nanoparticle risk research and regulation. The paper, entitled ‘Nanoparticles, Risk & Regulation', is authored by nanotechnology & occupational health expert Professor Anthony Seaton CBE, and co-scientists from the Safety of Nanoparticles Interdisciplinary Research Centre (SnIRC).

Lessons from History

Beginning with a historical perspective, Seaton et. al. outline some of those risks relating to causation of diseases associated with aerosol and combustion particles, discussing potential analogies with exposure to manufactured NPs. Considering two of the biggest occupational health risks of recent times - asbestos and particulate air pollution - the authors note the differences in how these issues were handled and the knock on effect this had on worker and public health. They conclude ‘It is not necessary to understand mechanisms before taking steps to prevent an occupational or environmental disease, and too great a focus on mechanisms alone, though scientifically interesting, may distract from applying preventive measures.' - or to put it simply "Incomplete knowledge of toxicity should not be used as an argument for delaying pragmatic protective measures in the workplace" Professor Seaton commented.

Nanotoxicology & Exposure - sufficient knowledge for control?

Considering whether there is already sufficient understanding of the risks of nanoparticles to implement control measures forms the body of the review. Outlining and considering key theories in nanotoxicology, including the ultrafine hypothesis, transgression through biological membranes & the role of inflammation; Seaton et. al. relate the base knowledge in this area to that limited research into human exposure to these particles. They conclude that although there is considerable work to be done, in many cases knowledge is sufficient to implement effective controls to minimise exposure and these should be put into place.

Knowledge gaps & the road to regulation

"Consumer protection from theoretical risk relies at present on prudent behaviour by those who would exploit nanotechnology for commercial advantage and an assumption that such particles are unlikely to be toxic" said Seaton. Given this less than ideal situation, much of the latter part of the review is focused on identifying gaps in knowledge relating to the properties of nanoparticles that might determine toxicity and in understanding the most appropriate ways both to measure this in the laboratory and to assess it in the workplace. Discussing the possibilities & pitfalls in developing toxicity testing and exposure control sufficiently robust to progress knowledge to the point at which risk assessment and early steps toward regulation may be implemented, Seaton an his co-authors stress that in order to assist the regulatory process, research should aim at understanding generic issues with respect to determinants of toxicity and at improving methods of measuring exposure.

Anthony Seaton, Lang Tran, Robert Aitken, and Kenneth Donaldson ‘Nanoparticles, human health hazard and regulation' J R Soc Interface 2009: rsif.2009.0252.focusv1-rsif20090252 may be accessed online at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19726441?dopt=Abstract.

Notes to Editors:

This week that the Royal Society / Royal Academy of Engineering are themselves marking the 5th anniversary of their seminal report, ‘Nanosciences & Nanotechnologies - Opportunities & Uncertainties'. The review's main author Professor Seaton was one of the working group who authored this report. To mark this anniversary, SAFENANO has provided a feature on the RS/RAEng report 5th Anniversary. To read it, click here www.safenano.org/5YearsOn.aspx


####

About SAFENANO
The SAFENANO initiative is one of the UK Technology Strategy Board’s Micro and Nanotechnology Network’s Nanotechnology Centres of Excellence. Phase 1 of this initiative was officially launched in August 2007.

SAFENANO Scientific Services represents the latest stage in IOM and SAFENANO’s nanotechnology programme which aims to understand, quantify and control risks posed by nanomaterials to the workforce, consumers, the general population and the environment through research, consultancy and service work for industry and government. Access SAFENANO at www.safenano.org


About SnIRC
The Safety of Nano-materials Interdisciplinary Research Centre (SnIRC) is an interdisciplinary research centre to research the toxicity, epidemiology, persistence, exposure pathways and bioaccumulation of manufactured nanoparticles and develop methodologies and instrumentation for monitoring them. It is based on existing collaborations between the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Napier University, Aberdeen University, Edinburgh University and the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The founding SnIRC partners are Dr Rob Aitken and Dr Lang Tran (Institute of Occupational Medicine), Prof. Ken Donaldson (Edinburgh University), Prof Jon Ayres (Aberdeen University), Dr Vicki Stone (Napier University) and Dr Andrew Maynard (NIOSH). The SnIRC collaboration is chaired by Prof Anthony Seaton. Access SnIRC at www.snirc.org

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Miss Bryony Ross – Editor, SAFENANO

Tel: +44 (0)131 449 8070

Copyright © SAFENANO

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Built to last: New copolymer binder to extend the life of lithium ion batteries: Scientists develop a novel binder material that protects the graphite anode of Li-ion batteries from degradation even after 1700 cycles March 5th, 2021

A COSMIC approach to nanoscale science: Instrument at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source achieves world-leading resolution of nanomaterials March 5th, 2021

Light in concert with force reveals how materials become harder when illuminated: When indented by a probe in darkness, wafers of some semiconductors are putty-like. When illuminated by light whose wavelength matches the band gap, they become hard, as electrons and holes freed by March 5th, 2021

Taking 2D materials for a spin: Scientists at the University of Tsukuba and the Institute of High Pressure Physics fabricate a novel molybdenum disulfide transistor and create an image of the spins of the electrons passing through which may open the way for new spintronic compute March 5th, 2021

Preparing for Nano

Disruptive by Design: Nano Now February 1st, 2019

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

A COSMIC approach to nanoscale science: Instrument at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source achieves world-leading resolution of nanomaterials March 5th, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Files IND to Begin Phase 2b Study of ARO-APOC3 in Patients with Severe Hypertriglyceridemia March 2nd, 2021

Quantum quirk yields giant magnetic effect, where none should exist: Study opens window into the landscape of extreme topological matter March 1st, 2021

Bioinformatics tool accurately tracks synthetic: DNA Computer scientists show benefits of bioinformatics with PlasmidHawk February 26th, 2021

Announcements

Built to last: New copolymer binder to extend the life of lithium ion batteries: Scientists develop a novel binder material that protects the graphite anode of Li-ion batteries from degradation even after 1700 cycles March 5th, 2021

A COSMIC approach to nanoscale science: Instrument at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source achieves world-leading resolution of nanomaterials March 5th, 2021

Light in concert with force reveals how materials become harder when illuminated: When indented by a probe in darkness, wafers of some semiconductors are putty-like. When illuminated by light whose wavelength matches the band gap, they become hard, as electrons and holes freed by March 5th, 2021

Taking 2D materials for a spin: Scientists at the University of Tsukuba and the Institute of High Pressure Physics fabricate a novel molybdenum disulfide transistor and create an image of the spins of the electrons passing through which may open the way for new spintronic compute March 5th, 2021

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

No nanoparticle risks to humans found in field tests of spray sunscreens December 2nd, 2020

Phytoplankton disturbed by nanoparticles: Due to its antibacterial properties, nanosilver is used in a wide range of products from textiles to cosmetics; but nanosilver if present at high concentrations also disrupts the metabolism of algae that are essential for the aquatic food November 27th, 2020

Study: Nanoparticles produced from burning coal result in damage to mice lungs, suggesting toxicity to humans February 5th, 2020

NIOSH requests data to help develop exposure limits for nanomaterials February 1st, 2020

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project