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BAuA Symposium

WHO fibres from nanomaterials and other advanced materials: Do we have to tackle a new asbestos problem in OSH?

On April 20th 2016, the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) invites all interested to an international symposium on asbestos-like fibres from nanomaterials and other advanced materials. The goal is to initiate a trans-disciplinary debate among representatives from academia, regulatory agencies, industry, and other interested parties in the governance landscape on advanced materials. It is also addressed to the members of the WHO Guideline Development Group 'WHO Guidelines on Nanomaterials and Workers' Health', who will hold a face-to-face meeting on April 18 to 19 at BAuA in Dortmund.


Nanotechnology has essentially broadened the spectrum of targeted material design. It enables the development of advanced materials, such as carbon nano tubes, that can be engineered to almost any fibre dimension and shape. Results from a decade of research on the toxicological effects of nanomaterials so far indicate no "nanospecific" toxicity, i.e. novel mechanisms of toxicity as result of their size. But long-known substance and particle related health effects may also appear in the new clothes of advanced materials! In fact, evidence suggests that asbestos-like fibres are a major issue for occupational safety and health. More than ten years after the European ban of asbestos, lessons from the past may help to depict recommendations and guidance on sustainable approaches to avoid a new asbestos problem at the workplace. Latest results from nanosafety research offer assumptions for refinement of the fibre principle and open the gates for a safe material design. There is need for flexible and adaptable governance approaches that can keep pace with technological development in the field of material research.


  • More information on this symposium can be found in the programme flyer (PDF, 207 KB) or via http://www.baua.de/en/Topics-from-A-to-Z/Hazardous-Substances/Nanotechnology/Symposium.html 


WHEN: 20th April 2016, 10:00 – 16:00

WHERE: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Lecture Hall, Main Building (Hörsaal, Haus 1), Friedrich-Henkel-Weg 1-25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany

Registration: Participation in the symposium is free of charge. Registration is open until 15th of April 2016 via the provided Online form (https://www.baua.de/en/Service/Registration/Registration.html ) or directly via E-mail to the registration office.


Contact @ Dept. Hazardous Chemicals and Biological Agents, BAuA:

  • Scientific Programme: Rolf Packroff, Scientific Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Further Information: Katharina Niesmann, Phone +49 231 9071-2019, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Registration Office: Astrid Haase-Rüsse, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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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