Nano-in-Vivo long-term research project
On 23 and 24 April, an expert dialogue under the NanoDialogue of the Federal Government took place at the BMU in Berlin; the topic of discussion was the Nano-in-Vivo long-term research project, the first of its kind internationally.
The study examined the potential long-term effects of a marketable nanomaterial. It is a joint project of the Federal Environment Ministry, the German Environment Agency, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and BASF SE, with participation from Fraunhofer ITEM and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The aim of the study was to gather data about long-term effects in order to close gaps in knowledge regarding the chronic effects of nanomaterials in the relevant low-dose range. A nanoform of cerium dioxide was tested over a time period of four years. The long-term study was carried out in compliance with the OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice and Test Guidelines. The publication of results is expected at the end of the year.
Studying low doses is particularly important for assessing effects that are to be expected in actual exposure situations for consumers and in the workplace. Although it is highly relevant for risk assessment, this type of data has not been available to date.
The new Federal Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, remarked: "It is an uncommon achievement to successfully realise cooperation on a long-term research project with so many different stakeholders from the fields of industry, science and policy."
50 guests from industry, the scientific community, authorities and non-governmental organisations were invited to the expert dialogue, which included early-stage discussion of available results and suggestions for assessment of risks to human health and for regulation. The study results flow into ongoing OECD work and into discussions at EU level about risk assessment for nanomaterials.
The NanoDialogue of the Federal Government has been under the lead responsibility of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) since 2006. More than 300 participants from non-governmental organisations, the scientific community, industry and authorities volunteer their time to take part in this stakeholder dialogue based on the precautionary principle. The dialogue is the first of its kind in Europe.