IMPART-NANOTOX, EU project 013968/013908
Nanotechnology is finding increased application in the market with the belief that nanotechnology will be the next industrial revolution. In order to exploit the nanotechnology market potential fully, companies worldwide are beginning to mass-produce these materials for use in everything from sunscreens to soil reclamation.
The production of anthropogenically-derived nanoparticles will inevitably result in the release of these materials into the environment. However, despite rapid advances in nanoparticle production, knowledge of the potential risks of nanoparticles to human health and the environment is limited. There is concern that a particle’s size below certain limits results in increased toxicity, irrespective of its actual chemical composition. In addition, the structure of these particles can also pose a potential risk: for example, the structure of carbon nanotubes is very similar to asbestos fibre, of which the detrimental effects on human health are well documented. Therefore, there is a need to encourage greater understanding of the short and long term implications of nanotechnology for health and the environment.
IMPART and NANOTOX are two projects designed to investigate the current understanding of the impact of nanotechnology on human beings and the environment. They are both being run jointly by the European Commission with slightly differing priorities and goals.
The two projects are completed; please click "results" to get access to the final documents and on "partners" for the partner's addresses of phase 2 of the project.