22.03.2019 | Policy papers and background info | Minutes and reports | Nanotechnology

5th dialogue phase: Expert dialogue 3 Risk research, risk communication and risk management of nanomaterials exemplified by the long-term research project "Nano-In-Vivo"

Options for transparent communication of nanotechnology opportunities and risks

Since 2012, BASF, the Agency for Occupational Health and Safety (BAuA), the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) jointly assessed the long-term effects of nanomaterials in the frame of the project "Nano-In-Vivo". The BMU is patron of the project.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM) designed and conducted the histopathological analyses of the rats' organs. The German authorities BAuA, UBA and BfR are responsible for following the project scientifically and for evaluating the results after. An external forum of renowned, high-level international and independent advisors commented the study design and followed the progress made.

The aim of the project was to identify long-term effects of nanomaterials on the lungs and other organs of rats. A specific emphasis was put onto the analysis of effects at low doses and over longer time periods in order to detect chronic effects of nanomaterials. Up to now, the project design is unique at global level. The material was Cerium in a nano form. At the ExpertDialogue on April 23 and 24, the project results were presented and viewed within the overall regulatory context. In addition, aspects of research cooperation and the transparent communication of research results were discussed. In particular representatives from civil society organisations have been invited to participate in the ExpertDialogue.