Safety of manufactured nanomaterials

Workshop on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials


The OECD’s Chemical Committee held a Workshop on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials in December 2005, in Washington, D.C. The main objective was to determine the “state-of–the–art” for the safety assessment of manufactured nanomaterials with a particular focus on identifying future needs for risk assessment within a regulatory context. The workshop was well attended with over 120 participants from OECD member countries, as well as non-member economies like Argentina, China and India; the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), Environmental NGOs, and invited experts. (see Presentations)

The Workshop considered information related to definitions, nomenclature and characterization, hazard identification and hazard and exposure assessment methods; as well as the regulatory frameworks relevant under each theme are relevant to the human health and environmental safety concerns that need to be tackled by the Chemicals Committee.

In advance of the Workshop, the Joint Meeting members had started to work on a survey/questionnaire as an opportunity to identify relevant information. The survey focused on activities relevant to the Workshop that had either been accomplished, or were currently underway, or were being planned.  The subject of this survey - the Potential Implications of Manufactured Nanomaterials for Human Health and Environmental Safety – was an issue which is still in the early stages of consideration in many member countries.

At the workshop, four parallel breakout sessions were organized and focused around the four themes:

  • Definitions, nomenclature and characterisation (physicochemical properties, uses);
  • Environmental effects (hazard identification; hazard and exposure assessment methods);
  • Human health effects (hazard identification; hazard and exposure assessment methods); and
  • Regulatory frameworks (limited mainly to the industrial chemicals sector).

The conclusions and recommendations of the Workshop were presented in a report for consideration at the 39th meeting of the Chemicals Committee. The Chemicals Committee recommended establishing a new Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials to address the conclusions and recommendations from the workshop (see the report of the workshop).


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