Nanoparticle hazards?

While the effectiveness of nanoparticles is unquestioned for many application fields, their potential risk for humans and the environment is being discussed controversially. Could large amounts of extremely small material cause damage comparable to that from asbestos that was widespread until the '70s?

Industry and science in Europe have been investigating the safety of nanotechnology for more than eight years - for example, within the project NanoCare (which excluded health concerns for 30 different nanomaterials and modifications), the database project DaNa, the DFG program SPP1313, or the EU project NANODERM about nanoparticles in skin creams.

There are in fact lacks of knowledge with regard to the innocuousness of nanoparticles; however, these knowledge lacks are far smaller than commonly assumed. Most concerns focus on nano-powders that are respirable, which calls for high diligence when processing nanoparticles in the gas phase that can be inhaled easily.

Particular produces nanoparticles in liquids only, which are easy to handle and cannot be inhaled. Still, Particular wants to use its universal production method to make a contribution to research on nanotechnology risks: in the future, we want to provide new reference materials that will also be used in studies on the safety of nanotechnology.

Based on knowledge that has been growing continuously, all of us will gain the confidence in nanotechnology that it deserves.