In a joint effort to address safety issues and regulatory challenges in nanomaterials, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and co-ordinators of four European FP7 projects has hosted another meeting to trigger discussion and networking amongst experts in various fields of nanosafety.
Each year the two day conference identifies what is required from the scientific community for policy making as well as presenting the most up to date in regulatory issues.
According to the JRC office, new and increasing prospects offered by nanotechnology has raised concerns over their safety to human health and environment at all the stages of the life cycle (synthesis, processing, use, recycling and their disposal).
For the third year in a row presentations were based around risk assessment and LCA of nanomaterials in a regulatory context, while outlining the needs and challenges for policy making and regulation of nanotechnology based materials.
According to the organisers, scientists discussed how to approach nanosafety through different disciplines, regulatory testing, challenges in research, exposure and risk assessment, life cycle assessment analysis processes, and sustainability.
The following topics were addressed at this year's meeting.
Four ways to approach nanosafety
In this session, speakers presented an overview of the R&D activities and the latest advances carried out by the four organizing projects (FP6-7) - Nanomaterial synthesis, technological advances for nanoparticle detection in vivo and in vitro, and immunology to risk assessment.
Regulatory testing of NMS
Here, recent developments on regulatory for nanotechnology within the EU was the focus. The session also included a talk from scientists from China and Brazil, who shoed the nanosafety research in their countries and their advances in establishing a regulatory framework in nanotechnology.
Presentations under this area included recent advances in the generation of nanomaterials and composites that will have to be faced from the nanosafety community and methodological developments for characterization, including detection and dose quantification of nanomaterials.
NMS interactions with living systems
This session highlighted the biological impact of nanotechnology with talks on immunology, genotoxicity and the application of high through output in nanosafety research.
Exposure and risk assessment
Here experts discussed critical risk assessment issues regarding manufactured nanoparticles like environmental fate, transport and transformation of manufactured nanomaterials and overall sustainability of manufactured nanomaterials-based products.
Life cycle assessment analysis
In this session, scientists presented their advances in the development or modification of life cycle assessment methodologies to assess the global environmental impact of nanotechnology-based products.
More in-depth information on the presentations and outcome of the meeting is set to be published over the summer.