HINAMOX (Health Impact of Engineered Metal and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles), a European Framework Programme 7 (FP7) project focused on studying the toxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles that are widely used in the chemical, cosmetic, electronics, waste treatment and other industries, will be holding a workshop at the ImagineNano Industrial Forum to be held in Bilbao, Spain from 11-14 April 2011. The main aims of the workshop are to:
- present the HINAMOX project to industrial stakeholders and the general public;
- provide a scientific explanation to the general public of the possible risks of nanomaterials for humans and the environment;
- provide information on actual risks of handling and exposure to nanomaterials in industry and how to avoid them;
- present a general view the EC policy on nanosafety and the different actions being undertaken in research and legislatio.
The HINAMOX workshop will be of interest to those in industry who will be dealing with the production, handling and commercialization of nanomaterials, and to members of the general public interested in issues concerning nanomaterials and their implications for human health and the environment.
Further details at the ImagineNano website
A recent report (November 2010) from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars explores a variety of voluntary options available for the oversight of nanotechnology products and processes. The report "Voluntary Initiatives, Regulation, and Nanotechnology Oversight: Charting a Path" by Dr. Daniel Fiorino, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University, provides a historical overview of voluntary approaches to environmental protection and assesses their applicability to the emerging field of nanotechnology.
The report provides a taxonomy of the various types of voluntary initiatives and the partnerships that underlie them, as well as an assessment of the factors that are most likely to contribute to program success. The main thesis of this report is that both non-regulatory and voluntary initiatives can play a constructive role in nanotechnology oversight.
A survey organised by the EU FP7-funded project NanoFate is looking at the environmental exposure to three specific nanoparticles: silver, cerium oxide and zinc oxide
For this purpose, the project collaborators are asking stakeholders for help in gathering high quality information about the general production and import volumes of these particles into the European Union:
The survey contains one set of questions for each of the three particle types and the corresponding final products. The survey authors state that "completion should not take more than roughly 10 minutes for each set of questions".
Follow this link to complete the survey.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in Switzerland has published guidelines for safety data sheets (SDS) of synthetic nanomaterials. According to SECO, the guidelines aim to:
- demonstrate which information is necessary to ensure the safe handling of nano-objects and of products which contain nano-objects.
- offer assistance on how the relevant information can be identified and in which form and which place they are to be listed in the SDS.
- contribute to making employees of companies which produce or process synthetic nano-objects aware of the particular properties of these materials. Where necessary, companies should request the relevant information from their suppliers.
Source and full article: SafeNano
The guidelines may be downloaded here
The increasing use of nanosilver as an antimicrobial in consumer products has raised concerns both in Europe and the US due to its potential adverse effects in the environment.
Researchers at Arizona State University have recently published a study in the Journal of Environmental Quality following the testing of several types of consumer products utilising nanoparticulate silver and their potential to release nanosilver to the air, water or soil.
The researchers assessed a shirt, a medical mask and cloth, toothpaste, shampoo, detergent, a towel, a toy teddy bear, and two humidifiers for their silver content. The products were then washed in tap water to determine the potential release of silver into aqueous environmental matrices. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to confirm the presence of nanoparticle silver in most products as well as in the wash water samples.
The paper also presents methodologies that can be used to quantify and characterize silver and other nanomaterials in consumer products, which can then be used to estimate real-world human and environmental exposure levels.
The Australian National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) is introducing new procedures for the notification and assessment of industrial nanomaterials that falls under the following working definition of "industrial nanomaterial":
"... industrial materials intentionally produced, manufactured or engineered to have unique properties or specific composition at the nanoscale, that is a size range typically between 1 nm and 100 nm, and is either a nano-object (i.e. that is confined in one, two, or three dimensions at the nanoscale) or is nanostructured (i.e. having an internal or surface structure at the nanoscale)".
These new procedures are components of the overall NICNAS strategy for regulating industrial nanomaterials and further details may be found on pages 14 - 16 of this document .
- Report suggests UK consumers are “concerned and confused” about the use of nanoparticles in food
- European and US experts discuss nanotechnology opportunities and risks
- NanoCode Synthesis Report published
- Belgium calls for register of nanomaterials under REACH to ensure traceability
- Public authorities discuss insurability of nanotechnologies