Publication HF Krug in Angewandte Chemie 2014

Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal "Angewandte Chemie International Edition". He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortcomings: poorly prepared experiments and results that don't carry any clout. Instead of merely levelling criticism, however, Empa is also developing new standards for such experiments within an international network.


Researching the safety of nanoparticles is all the rage. Thousands of scientists worldwide are conducting research on the topic, examining the question of whether titanium dioxide nanoparticles from sun creams can get through the skin and into the body, whether carbon nanotubes from electronic products are as hazardous for the lungs as asbestos used to be or whether nanoparticles in food can get into the blood via the intestinal flora, for instance. Public interest is great, research funds are flowing – and the number of scientific projects is skyrocketing: between 1980 and 2010, a total of 5,000 projects were published, followed by another 5,000 in just the last three years. However, the amount of new knowledge has only increased marginally. After all, according to Krug the majority of the projects are poorly executed and all but useless for risk assessments.


The complete press release can be accessed via


Original Publication

Krug H.F. (2014). Nanosafety Research-Are We on the Right Track? Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, n/a-n/a.




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