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UBA Report 07/2014

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has recently published its report „Carcinogenicity and Mutagenicity of Nanoparticles – Assessment of Current Knowledge as Basis for Regulation" of existing knowledge on the carcinogenicity and mutagenicity of nanoparticles in order to inform future regulatory efforts. More than 100 individual long-term studies were evaluated on behalf of UBA using a relational database from the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM) in order to identify relevant indicators of toxicity, including possible precursors of the carcinogenicity of nanomaterials. Silver was found to have the largest toxic potential of all examined nanomaterials.


Sustained inflammation is considered to be a relevant indicator for determining the toxic and carcinogenic potential of nanomaterials is a chronic inflammation due to it being one possible early event in the sequence of cancer development. The authors suggest to group nanomaterials based on their potential nanomaterials to generate inflammation. With regard to regulation they propose a preliminary LOEL (Lowest Observable Effect Level) to distinguish between the so-called 'inert' nanomaterials and those with specific toxicity and nanotubes should be assessed separately.


Original Publication

Umweltbundesamt (UBA) (07/2014). Carcinogenicity and Mutagenicity of Nanoparticles – assessment of Current Knowledge as Basis for Regulation. Texte 50/2014, ISSN 1862-4804. (PDF; 3.9 MB)


Current Research

Graphene interlayer © bonninturina / fotolia.com

Information on the sponsorship programmes of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on nanotechnologies for humans and the environment.


Knowledge Base

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A database with important and generally understandable aspects on health and environment of applied nanomaterials as well as facts on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials.


Nano Basics

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The chapters on release, exposure, uptake and behavior of nanomaterials in the human body and in the environment as well as the risk assessment will give you a first overview.



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