Nano News

Newsmail 2010

Nanopublic Newsmail No 3 - Juin 2010


Nanopublic Newsmail No 2 - March 31st, 2010


June 2009 Impart-Nanotox Database

Impart-Nanotox is a project of the European Commission dedicated to « improving the understanding of the impact of nanoparticles on human health and the environment » under FP6 with an important Swiss participation with the EMPA. The website comprises a database of relevant publications and a « Guidance Booklet on Safe Handling of Nanoparticles » (33 pages, October 2008) 


April 2009 - OECD Database on Research into the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials now online

The OECD has developed a global resource digging research projects that address safety issues of manufactured nanomaterials. This database holds details of completed, current and planned research projects on safety

Acess the database 

How to search the database, and how to contribute, complementary information here


April 2009 - OECD Publication on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials

Preliminary Analysis of Exposure Measurement and Exposure Mitigation in Occupational Settings: Manufactured Nanomaterials. This OECD report provides preliminary analyses and recommendations as well as brief summaries of background policy documents of various countries

To get the 31 pages report, click here 


April 2009 - Global review of health, environment, and safety issues of nanomaterials published in the UK

EMERGNANO is a review on environment, health and safety issues of nanoparticles in particular. It is a project of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), conducted by the Institute of Occupational Medicine of Edinburgh (IOM) and 7 other partners. Based on the review of 260 studies and research activities, the 192 pages review adresses 5 main areas : 1) metrology, characterisation, standardisation and reference materials ; 2) exposures – sources, pathways and technologies ; 3) human health hazards and risk assessment ; 4) environmental hazards and risk assessment ; 5) social and economic dimensions of nanotechnologies.

To get the Review from the SAFENANO webpage 


March 2009 - Recommandations for research of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences publish their recommandations to better integrate the ethical, legal and social aspects in nanoscience and nanotechnology research

To get the report (in german only) from the webpage of the Academies, click here 


January 2009 - Governance of nanotechnolgies, report from the european project FramingNano

The FP7 Framing Nano project conducted a study towards policy makers, industry and businesses, research institutions, consumers and environmental NGOs, as well as labour organisations. Quote of the Executive summary, p. 6: « a few years ago, two mutually incompatible views (a self regulating “laisser-faire” model and the idea of a total moratorium) prevailed. Now, the discussion is broader and more articulated, with opinions and positions that however still differ, depending from the specific materials, products, use and applications considered. » Agreements exist on several issues, although visions remain opposed when it comes to the regulations’ design. Two issues are still debated : the burden of proof to demonstrate products’ safety, which differs in the US and in the EU, and the labeling of consumers’ products.

To get the 138 pages report in .pdf format, click here


January 2009 - Nanotechnologies and Human Enhancement in the US

The Arizona State University and the North Carolina University conducted a participative study on nanotechnology and human enhancement : National Citizens’ Technology Forum : Nanotechnologies and Human Enhancement. It shows there are concerns over effective regulations of converging technologies, the need for information and public deliberative activities, and especially the fears of inequitable distribution of enhancement technologies, as well as the priority put on therapeutic applications over enhancement ones.  

December 2008 - Precaution scheme for synthetic nanomaterials

The precaution scheme has been elaborated by the Federal office of public health (OFSP) and the Federal office of environnement (OFEV) as a tool for industry and business. This version of december 2008 will be revised according to practice by the end of 2009.

Three documents can be found on the website of the federal office : an information factsheet, the precaution scheme for synthetic nanomaterials, and the guidelines for the use of a precautionary scheme.  


December 2008 - "Ten lessons for a nanodialogue"

The Rathenau Institute issues a study on the debate about nanotechnology in the Netherlands. It formulates several recommandations, such as to differenciate between risk and broader societal issues, to actively address risk, and to promote public dialogue.  

October 2008 - "Nanotechnology for Healthcare"

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the most important funding source for nanotechnology research in Great-Britain published a study on nanotechnology and healthcare in order to identify concerns and priorities in the public. The study involved a sample of ordinary citizens who discussed 6 different innovations in nanomedicine. The conclusions indicate that people view the equal access to therapy, individual responsibility and prevention as essential factors of longevity.

For more information, see Nature Nanotechnology, vol 3, October 2008 : 578-79


September 2008 - Risk Governance in Food and Cosmetics

A report of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) : Risk Governance of Nanotechnology Applications in Food and Cosmetics.  

April 2008 - Swiss government announces an Action plan on synthetic nanomaterials

The Federal Council intends to set framing conditions for the use of synthetic nanomaterials. Foreseen measures include risk evaluation, regulatory context, and public communication and dialogue.

To get the report from the Public health administration, click here


June 2009 - GoodNanoGuide - Database

The GoodNanoGuide is a « collaboration platform designed to enhance the ability of experts to exchange on how best to handle nanomaterials in an occupational setting. It fills the need for up-to-date information about current good workplace practices, highlighting new practices as they develop. » The site also provides entries for non specialist, some management schemes for laboratories and organisations, and an occupational and health safety reference manual. The GoodNanoGuide is the result of a joint effort by the US International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON), the UK based Safenano, the Institute for Work and Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), SafeNano, University of Wisconsin's Center for Nanotechnology, InterNano, the Institute of Occupational Medicine, SAFENANO, IRSST, and, as the website says, « and many, many others. » 


École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology (CCMX)