Innovation: European Network On The Health And Environmental Impact Of Nanomaterials

Last update: 30.06.2013
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(eco)toxicity, product design, public perception, eu actionplan, health, life-cycle, impact, human, risk, nanotechnology research, screening, industrial manufacture, environment, nanotechnology applications, predictive models, nanomaterial, nanotechnology and nanosciences, network research, network technologies, nanoparticles
Recent technological advances allow the targeted production of objects and materials in the nanoscale (smaller than 100 nm). Nanomaterials have chemical, physical and bioactive characteristics, which are different from those of larger entities of the same materials. Nanoparticles can pass through body barriers. This is interesting for medical applications, but it raises concerns about their health and environmental impact. The objective of the NanoImpactNet is to create a scientific basis to ensure the safe and responsible development of engineered nanoparticles and nanotechnology-based materials and products, and to support the definition of regulatory measures and implementation of legislation in Europe. It includes a strong two-way communication to ensure efficient dissemination of information to stakeholders and the European Commission, while at the same time obtaining input from the stakeholders about their needs and concerns. The work plan shows six work packages (WPs: Human
hazards and exposures, Hazards and fate of nanomaterials in the environment, Impact assessment, Communication, Integration and nomenclature, and Coordination and management). The work plan will be implemented over four years. Discussions about strategies and methodologies will be initiated through well-prepared workshops covering the WP topics. External researchers and stakeholders will be invited to participate. After these workshops, the researchers will collaborate to produce thorough reports and sets of guidelines reflecting the consensus reached. All of the leading European research groups with activities in nanosafety, nanorisk assessment, and nanotoxicology are represented in NanoImpactNet. All exposure routes, major disease classes and impact assessment approaches are represented within the network. It will coordinate activities within Europe. It will help implement the EU Actionplan for Nanotechnology and support a responsible and safe development of nanotechnologies in
Europe.

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NANOIMPACTNET (NIN) was a multidisciplinary European coordination and support action (CSA) addressing the health and environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials. NIN aimed to support the creation of a scientific basis within which to ensure the safe and responsible development of engineered nanoparticles and nanotechnology-based materials and products. NIN was not a research project, rather it was a multidisciplinary network that put in place a series of actions and workpackages (WPs) to facilitate community building and the development of a coherent strategy to address the assessment of the potential impacts from increased applications of engineered nanomaterials. The lack of such a framework in which to integrate datasets from diverse scientific communities was identified by NIN as one of the major problems slowing the regulation and commercialisation of nanotechnologies. Indeed the very diversity of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, and their applications, warrants the
development of a framework to assess the safety, health and environmental issues associated with emerging engineered and manufactured nanomaterials.

During the lifetime of NIN, significant progress has been made towards all of the objectives, although some with greater success, and higher impact, than others. The sections below provide a summary of how NIN has progressed in Year 4 towards reaching each of its objectives. The integrative report makes recommendations regarding what remains to be done and what could / should be picked up by the EU NanoSafety Cluster Working Groups, or by other mechanisms, such as QNano or the large scale projects (Marina, NanoValid and NanoDevice and those being funded from the 2012 and 2013 NMP funding calls).

Project Results:
WP1: Human Hazards and Exposure
WP1 established a common methodology and approach to determine if there is a health risk associated with human exposure to nanomaterials, and how to quantify current human exposure to nanomaterials. The objective for the last year in WP1 was to integrate the efforts from Years 1 to 3, and to draw conclusions and recommendations regarding the current State of the Art (after the four years of integrating effort by NIN) in relation to the assessment and understanding of the human health implications of nanomaterials, and exposure levels and scenarios. This should provide recommendations regarding a clear, science-based strategy for integrated risk assessment, and guidelines for experimental design to provide such integrated information.

WP2 - Environmental Hazards and Exposure
WP2 supported the development of the field regarding research on nanomaterials fate, behaviour and hazard in and for the environment, which was in its very infancy when NIN started. The main objective for the final period was to provide an overview of the work conducted by WP2 during NIN?s lifespan and to integrate this with recent activity in this area, which has been taking place outside NIN. In addition, a last training school provided the next generation of scientists with an integrated view of the field. Conclusions in the final report of this WP include recommendations towards the implementation of best practice in this field and to provide a means of dissemination and outreach to a wide range of stakeholders.

WP3 - Impact Assessment
WP3 dealt with all aspects of life cycle analysis, risk assessment and integrated impact assessment of nanomaterials. WP3s main objective for the final period was the compilation of an integrated impact assessment of nanomaterials via a last workshop and another training school as essential parts in the promotion and dissemination of tools for the assessment process. The final report with recommendations for impact assessment of nanoparticles had the objective to give an overview of the conceptual framework that is necessary for an integrated impact assessment and to provide consensus materials for a number of different stakeholders including scientists, industry, regulators and NGOs.

WP4 - Communication
WP4 ensured open and transparent communication between NIN and stakeholders with demonstrated involvement or research knowledge related to the health, safety and environmental impact of nanomaterials. In the original planning, WP4 would have had strongly reduced activities in this last reporting period. However, based on feedback from the network, it was decided to continue (in addition to the website content, the newsletters and information packages) the stakeholder dialogue with a report on uncertainty and complexity, a final stakeholder session at the final conference and to provide a dissemination strategy for the NanoSafety Cluster. These continued efforts should help ensure that QNano and the NanoSafety Clusters communication and dissemination work continues to reach stakeholders in Europe and that they will be able to "hit the ground running" building on NINs achievements.

WP5 - Integration and Nomenclature
Cross-talk and collaboration between the workpackages is critical to realize the added value of the proposed interdisciplinary approach. WP5 facilitated this cross-talk as well as to promote the generation of standardized experimental protocols and a nomenclature database. The objective for the last period was to continue this cross-talk towards the creation of joint reports and, in addition to the original planning, in the form of a final (fourth) conference. This last conference also helped in the transfer of the networking and integrating efforts baton to QNano and the NanoSafety Cluster.

WP6 - Coordination and Project Management
WP6 dealt with overall project coordination, mandatory management issues, and provided the other WPs with a set of tools that facilitated the organisation of their activities. It relieved the participating scientists as much as possible from administrative tasks. WP6 finished the reporting.

Collaboration sought: N/A
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: European Network On The Health And Environmental Impact Of Nanomaterials

Acronym: 
NANOIMPACTNET

Runtime: 
01.04.2008 to 31.03.2012

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

INSTITUT UNIVERSITAIRE ROMAND DE SANTE AU TRAVAIL

(Switzerland)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. RIEDIKER Michael

Website: http://www-.i-s-t.ch

Phone: +41-213147453

Contact

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

(France)

Contact person: Mr. SAUNIER Laurent

Phone: +33-438785524

Contact

DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET

(Denmark)

Contact person: Ms. RASMUSSEN Birte Kastrup

Website: http://www.dtu.dk

Phone: +45-45251687

Contact

DEUTSCHE GESETZLICHE UNFALLVERSICHERUNG

(Germany)

Contact person: Dr. BÜRFENT Klaus

Phone: +49-22412312109

Contact

DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

(Ireland)

Contact person: Mr. WILLS Ray

Phone: +353-14023000

Contact

EDINBURGH NAPIER UNIVERSITY

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Ms. PEMBERTON Colette

Website: http://www.napier.ac.uk

Phone: +44-01314556009

Contact

EIDGENOESSISCHE MATERIALPRUEFUNGS- UND FORSCHUNGSANSTALT

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Ms. LEUTWYLER Heidi

Website: http://www.empa.ch

Phone: +41-448234591

Contact

HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. MARIK Chris

Website: http://www.hse.gov.uk

Phone: +44-1298-218720

Contact

HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. OLSZEWSKA-DAY Eva

Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1314513073

Contact

HOSPICES CANTONAUX CHUV

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Mr. GMÜNDER Bernard

Website: http://www.chuv.ch

Phone: +41-213141686

Contact

INSTITUT FUR ENERGIE UND UMWELTTECHNIK EV - IUTA

(Germany)

Contact person: Dr. KUHLBUSCH Thomas A. J.

Website: http://www.iuta.de

Phone: +49-2065418267

Contact

INSTITUTE OF OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Ms. SCARISBRICK Susy

Website: http://www.iom-world.org

Phone: +44-1314498065

Contact

JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION

(Italy)

Contact person: Mr. CRANDON Raymond

Phone: +39-0332789828

Contact

KØBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

(Denmark)

Contact person: Mr. LUNDIN BROCKDORFF Johannes

Website: http://www.ku.dk

Phone: +45-35327052

Contact

NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DEMOKRITOS

(Greece)

Contact person: Ms. MARTAKI Stella

Website: http://www.demokritos.gr

Phone: +30-2106503037

Contact

NORSK INSTITUTT FOR LUFTFORSKNING

(Norway)

Contact person: Dr. DUSINSKA Maria

Website: http://www.nilu.no

Phone: +47-63898157

Contact

RIJKSINSTITUUT VOOR VOLKSGEZONDHEID EN MILIEU

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. HAGENS Jan

Website: http://www.rivm.nl

Phone: +31-302743125

Contact

SLOVENSKA ZDRAVOTNICKA UNIVERZITA V BRATISLAVE

(Slovakia)

Contact person: CAGAN Milan

Phone: +421-259370650

Contact

ST MARY'S UNIVERSITY COLLEGE TWICKENHAM

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Ms. CHANT Samantha

Website: http://www.smuc.ac.uk

Phone: +44-02082404198

Contact

STICHTING DIENST LANDBOUWKUNDIG ONDERZOEK

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. ZEILSTRA Jelte Beeuwe

Phone: +31-317475424

Contact

TYOETERVEYSLAITOS

(Finland)

Contact person: Prof. SAVOLAINEN Kai

Website: http://www.ttl.fi

Phone: +358-304742200

Contact

UNIVERSITAET BERN

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Prof. GEHR Peter

Website: http://www.unibe.ch

Phone: +41-316318433

Contact

UNIVERSITE DE FRIBOURG

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Ms. BERSIER Monique

Website: http://www.unifr.ch

Phone: +41-263007003

Contact

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN

(Ireland)

Contact person: Mr. DOOLAN Donal

Website: http://www.ucd.ie

Phone: +353-17161656

Contact

UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. MARTIN John

Phone: +44-01752588931

Contact

UNIVERSITY OF SURREY

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. HARDING-PAYNE Gillian

Website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1483683498

Contact