The 8th International Nano-Authorities Dialogue which is taking place in Berlin focuses on nanomaterials and the environment. Following an invitation by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) representatives of ministries, authorities and research institutions from Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are meeting for an internal exchange of experience on 14 and 15 May 2014.
The main topics are market data, applications, material flows, behaviour in different media (air, water, sediment, soil), as well as examination/risk assessment and resulting regulatory approaches to nanomaterials. Further topics include the release of nanomaterials into the environment during products' life cycles and new findings concerning the effects and distribution of such materials in the various environmental media.
There are still knowledge gaps concerning in particular the testing and measurement of nanomaterials that urgently must be closed for adequate risk assessment and regulation. Therefore an exchange of research results is important in order to avoid duplication of effort and initiate new projects to close these knowledge deficits in an efficient way.
The expert presentations and discussions at this year's Nano-Authorities Dialogue show that while there are still many open questions concerning the behaviour of nanomaterials in the environment, years of intensive and targeted research have already generated a sound basis for action by authorities and regulators.
The international Nano-Authorities Dialogue is an annual event offering a dialogue platform for environmental, health and industrial health authorities and scientists from German speaking countries. The aim is to facilitate an informal, cross-border exchange of information and experience about current topics concerning nano governance.