Assessing health and environmental risks of nanoparticles

Nanoparticles are ultrafine particles with exceptional properties that give
them unbounded possibilities. They can add extra strength to materials and
objects, make solar cells work more efficiently, and direct medicines straight
to the place where the human body needs them. These highly promising properties
are the reason why so much is being invested in nanotechnology and why it has
become part and parcel of modern society. However, nanoparticles possess
different properties and behave differently to the classical, larger building
blocks of substances. The existing models and techniques used to assess the
risks of nanoparticles and nanomaterials are not yet sufficiently tuned to
determine how harmful they are to people and the environment. There are
indications that some nanoparticles exhibit harmful properties, but exactly why
this is true of these particular particles is unknown, and it certainly does
not apply to all nanoparticles and nanomaterials.

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
produced an overview of the scientific knowledge of risk assessments of
nanoparticles and nanomaterials and their applications. The information in the
report includes a description of the current European regulatory regime.
General insights have been amplified for some distinct fields such as consumer
products, food, medical applications, workplace applications and the

More information - Source: utch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)