Nanotechnology as a new technology is of special interest for the public, the politics and industry. Potential toxicological and ecotoxicological risks linked to this expanding technology cannot be assessed currently. Extensive research and development activities have to follow up in various scientific disciplines. There are needs to map and structure the different research activities and to set priorities. Furthermore it is important to promote research activities that lead to results which are appropriate to perform a comprehensive risk assessment framework and adequate to conclude on regulatory activities (classification, limit values, handling recommendations).
In spring 2011 the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) together with the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie/VCI), the Federation of German Industry (BDI) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) started a second survey on occupational health and safety in the handling and use of nanomaterials. We now can announce the publication of the results (in German with English summery). The awareness to the topic and the scientific and pragmatic approach led to high number of answers from industry, research organisations and universities. We would like to thank all participants who helped with their answer to make the questionnaire a success.
In autumn 2011 a working group consisting of the Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology e.V. (IUTA), the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Raw Materials and Chemical Industry (BG RCI), the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the DGUV (IFA), the Technical University Dresden (TUD) and the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) published the document "Tiered Approach to an Exposure Measurement and Assessment of Nanoscale Aerosols Released from Engineered Nanomaterials in Workplace Operations".
The reports "Relevance of in vitro-methods for the evaluation of chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity of nanomaterials, fine dust and fibers" (F 2043), "Dispersion and retention of dusts consisting of ultrafine primary particles in lungs" (F 2133), "Genotoxic mode of action of fine and ultrafine dusts in lungs" (F 2135) have been published in autumn 2011.
The BAuA and the VCI have published an update of their guidance for handling and use of nanomaterials at the workplace in May 2012.
The report "Toxic effects of various modifications of a nanoparticle following inhalation" (F 2246) has been published in autumn 2013.
In a long-term research strategy, the German higher federal authorities responsible for human and environmental safety - the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and the National Metrology Institute (PTB) - are accompanying the rapid pace of development of new materials from the points of view of occupational safety and health, consumer protection and environmental protection. The strategy is therefore closely linked with public funding programmes for research on nanomaterials and other advanced materials, such as those of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) ("From Material to Innovation") and the EU ("Horizon 2020"). The 2016 follow-up builds on the outcomes so far of the joint research strategy of the higher federal authorities launched in 2008 and its first evaluation in 2013.
Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA)
Postbox 17 02 02
Phone +49 231 9071-2071
Fax +49 231 9071-2070