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    Research regarding the impacts of nanoparticles on people and the environment is needed. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds projects to fill knowledge gaps and to initiate measures to identify and minimize risk.

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Human and Ecotoxicity of Synthetic Nanomaterials - Initial Insights for Major Accident Prevention”

Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing research and development area with increasing importance for the economy, research and society.
In the literaturestudy "human toxicity and ecotoxicity of engineered nanomaterials - Initial Insights for Major Accident Prevention " the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) has addressed the issue as to whether new criteria for the determination of the quantity thresholds quoted in the Ordinance on Protection against Major Accidents may result from the accident potential or possible new hypothetical accident scenarios related to the human and ecotoxicity of synthetic nanomaterials. 

The document, approximately 40 pages in length, analysed various synthetic nanomaterials and summarises the various international guidelines and research findings.


At present, insufficient fundamental data are available to draw final conclusions on this question. However, knowledge gained until now does not suggest a need for immediate specific regulations to be included in the Ordinance on Protection against Major Accidents where nanomaterials are concerned.


The complete studyis available in several languages and can be accessed here (PDF, 700 KB)



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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