Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > A decade of research on nanotechnology risks

Abstract:
In the past decade numerous projects on the risks associated with nanomaterials have been initiated and carried out. In general, they dealt with the subject of how nanomaterials could be used without representing a danger to the environment and human health. However a lack of specialists is preventing further urgently needed studies in the field of nano(eco)toxicology from being undertaken. In addition there are numerous gaps - some quite large -.in our knowledge of this subject. These are the conclusions drawn in two reports recently made public, in both of which Empa nanotoxicologist Harald Krug was significantly involved.

A decade of research on nanotechnology risks

Switzerland | Posted on November 30th, 2011

There are hundreds of products based on nanotechnological manufacturing processes available on the market today, ranging from sun cream and pigments all the way to clothing. Right from the early days these developments were accompanied by research into the safety aspects of nanoproducts. Harald Krug, a toxicologist at Empa has, after a decade of research in the field of nanosafety, come to the following (provisional) conclusion: "To date no specific risks are known to exist in association with the use of nanoproducts - or rather free nanoparticles." But even if there are no concrete indications of serious problems with synthetic nanoparticles, Hug says that this is not a general "all clear". Companies wishing to market a new nanoproduct should carefully consider its entire life-cycle, from manufacture through use of the item all the way to its final disposal or possible recycling.

Plenty of work for nano(eco)toxicologists

To better understand the interactions between nanoparticles with other materials and the environment, and to learn how they might affect human health, calls for a comprehensive knowledge of toxicology. There is one aspect that particularly worries Harald Krug. "Because in recent years in Europe a large number of environmental toxicological institutes have been closed down there are now not enough experts and specialists in the field of the environmental nanotoxicology." Consequently, in countless scientific publications in the field the rules of toxicology are not being followed, usually through lack of knowledge. "And as a result there are these horror stories which create a great deal of uncertainty and unease."

The safe use of nanomaterials

A 60 page report recently published by the German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (DECHEMA) and the Chemical Industry Association (VCI) offers an overview of research projects conducted during the last decade on the subject of nanosafety. It covers six Swiss, 40 German, one US and 25 EU projects. In one of these projects Empa, together with the Cantonal Hospital of St Gallen, investigated whether nanoparticles can pass through the human placenta and enter the circulatory system of an unborn baby. Toxicologists from Empa's «Materials meet Life» laboratory studied human placentas (donated by mothers immediately after giving birth) to evaluate how good a barrier they represent. Their experiments showed that particles with diameters of less than 200 to 300 nm could pass through into the fetal bloodstream. The question is, does this damage placental tissue or possibly have an influence on the development of the unborn child? At the same time, looking on the positive side, it is possible to imagine the transport of nanovehicles through the placenta as a means of delivering targeted treatment to the baby while it is still in the womb.

In another report (to which Krug was also a significant contributor) which was recently presented in Brussels, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) drew attention to the gaps in our scientific knowledge in this field and indicated very clearly the topics which need to be researched in the coming years in order that nanomaterials can be directly utilized without risks to our environment or to human health. "Looking at these results, I really wish that in future we would invest more in education and training in environmental toxicology. Only then is it possible to undertake responsible research in this field, and only then can we guarantee the sustainable development of these new technologies," says Krug.

####

About Empa
Empa as a Swiss Materials Science and Technology Institution within the ETH domain is part of the Swiss Science-Technology-Education community. It specializes in applied research and development as well as sophisticated services in the field of sustainable materials science and technology. Its core activities are innovative collaboration with industry and public institutions to ensure the safety of humankind and the environment, knowledge propagation and university-level teaching. The Empa Academy disseminates the latest results of our work at events and in publications. The focal points of our activities are: modern materials, their surfaces and interfaces, construction materials and systems, materials and systems that protect the human body and ensure its wellbeing, information, simulation and reliability technology, and mobility, energy and the environment. Approximately 820 employees work in over 30 specialist fields in nationally and internationally funded research programs, partnership-based development projects and interdisciplinary customer-specific service assignments.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sabine Charlotte Voser Moebus
+41 44 823 45


Prof. Harald Krug
Materials Meet Life Department
Phone +41 58 765 72 48

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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 Links

DECHEMA/VCI Report: 10 Jahre Forschung zu Risikobewertung, Human- und Ökotoxikologie von Nanomaterialien – Statuspapier des DECHEMA/VCI – Arbeitskreis "Responsible Production and Use of Nanomaterials"

EASAC Report: Impact of Engineered Nanomaterials on Health – Considerations for Benefit-Risk Assessment:

Related News Press

News and information

Nanostructures Increase Corrosion Resistance in Metallic Body Implants May 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Magnetic Field to Transfer Anticancer Drug to Tumor Tissue May 24th, 2015

Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents May 23rd, 2015

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015

Announcements

Nanostructures Increase Corrosion Resistance in Metallic Body Implants May 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Magnetic Field to Transfer Anticancer Drug to Tumor Tissue May 24th, 2015

Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents May 23rd, 2015

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Nanostructures Increase Corrosion Resistance in Metallic Body Implants May 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Magnetic Field to Transfer Anticancer Drug to Tumor Tissue May 24th, 2015

Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents May 23rd, 2015

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015

Environment

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

Directa Plus in Barcelona to present the innovative project GEnIuS for oil spills clean-up activities: The company has created a graphene-based product for the remediation of water contaminated by oil and hydrocarbons May 21st, 2015

Nano-policing pollution May 13th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Statement by QD Vision regarding European Parliament’s Vote on Cadmium-Based Quantum Dots May 20th, 2015

SUNY Poly CNSE and NIOSH Launch Federal Nano Health and Safety Consortium: May 20th, 2015

Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes May 9th, 2015

Nanoparticles in consumer products can significantly alter normal gut microbiome May 4th, 2015

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project