Integrative Analysis of the State of Knowledge Regarding Health and Environmental Risks of Nanotechnology

Despite broad application in everyday products and materials, safety and security issues of nanotechnologies have hardly been the subject of research to this day. The NanoTrust project has been ongoing since 2007 and represents a publicly accessible information platform aiming to identify the most pressing issues.

Nanotechnology promises new or improved materials and products, e.g. in medicine, cosmetics, optics, or construction. In order to ensure the safe and sustainable development of nanotechnologies, NanoTrust collects, analyses and communicates the current state of knowledge on possible health and environmental risks for decision-makers and the interested public, thus contributing to the organisation of an exchange of knowledge.

The field of nanotechnology is gaining momentum in the context of the development of technology. However, aspects of safety and security have not been sufficiently explored yet to be able to predict the potential risks and dangers involved. At the same time, the public debate has steered towards a critical view, and could easily take a turn towards the negative implications involved.

In light of our experience with genetic engineering in agriculture, we need to have a forward-looking nanotechnology policy that builds upon deep and well-prepared analyses. Thus, there is a great need for more research about, and communication of, the subject.

Within NanoTrust 5 accompanying research on approaches to the regulation of nanotechnologies, as well as the security and risk research of the innovation area of the so-called “advanced materials”, is conducted. An important task includes the dissemination of research results within the framework of scientific technology assessment, as well as the critical reflection of the national and international regulatory activities and feedback to the relevant Austrian actors.

For the first time in Austria, these important aspects of technology development are being investigated in a systematic way rather than on the level of individual R&D projects. We aim at making transparent possible gaps in research and identifying the most pressing issues that need to be addressed. The findings will also have national relevance, as project-coordinator André Gazsó has recently been made chair of the Nano Information Commission of the Austrian Ministery of Health.

Further Information

If you would like to be informed about the latest NanoTrust activities and publications, you can subscribe to the NanoTrust Newsletter here: NanoTrust Newsletter (German)

Former NanoTrust researchers: Daniela Fuchs, Julia Haslinger, Ulrich Fiedeler, Myrtill Simkó


NanoTrust Dossiers – Results of the project "NanoTrust"

The team of the project NanoTrust offers on an irregular basis “Dossiers”, approximately three to six page summaries of the state of knowledge on current issues in the existing nano debate in an accessible language, but on a firm scientific base.

The NanoTrust Dossiers are published in german and english language and can be visited at EPUB.OEAW.



Within the framework of the project NanoTrust, we organise events of different kinds from conferences to special workshops; NanoTrust also contributes to conferences by third parties by organising special sessions.



  • currently no events




  • Fiedeler, U. (2008). Technology Assessment of Nanotechnology: Problems and Methods in Assessing Emerging Technologies. In E. Fisher, Selin, C., & Wetmore, .J. (Eds.), Excavating Futures of Nanotechnology: The Yearbook of Nanotechnology in Society (pp. 241-264). Springer.
  • Simko, M., Fiedeler, U., Gazsó, A., & Nentwich, M. (2008). Einfluss von Nanopartikeln auf zelluläre Funktionen (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 007) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 5). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-007
  • Gazsó, A., Fiedeler, U., Nentwich, M., Raab, C., & Simko, M. (2008). Herstellungsverfahren von Nanopartikeln und Nanomaterialien (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 006) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 4). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-006
  • Fiedeler, U. (2008). Parlamente und Nanotechnologie im European Open Science Forum. Ita-Newsletter September 2008, 12 f.Retrieved from
  • Fiedeler, U., Gazsó, A., Simkó, M., & Nentwich, M. (2008). NanoTrust - Ein österreichisches Projekt zu möglichen Gesundheits- und Umweltrisiken der Nanotechnologie. Technikfolgenabschätzung - Theorie Und Praxis, 72-74. Retrieved from
  • Fiedeler, U. (2008). Using Nanotechnology for the Substitution of Hazardous Chemical Substances: Challenges of Definition and Measurement. Journal Of Industrial Ecology, 12, 307-315. Retrieved from
  • Nentwich, M., Gazsó, A., Simkó, M., & Fiedeler, U. (2008). Nano-Trust-Dossiers: Transparenz für die Nano-Risikoforschung. Ita-Newsletter, 11. Retrieved from
  • Nentwich, M. (2008). ist online. Ita-Newsletter, 12. Retrieved from
  • Nentwich, M., Fiedeler, U., Gazsó, A., & Simkó, M. (2008). NanoTrust. Ein Beitrag zum Umgang mit möglichen Gesundheits- und Umweltrisiken sowie gesellschaftlichen Aspekten der Nanotechnologien (NanoTrust 1. Zwischenbericht) (p. 40). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-pb-c21
  • Fiedeler, U., Simkó, M., Gazsó, A., & Nentwich, M. (2008). Zur Definition der Nanotechnologie (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 001) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 4). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-001
  • Raab, C., Simkó, M., Gazsó, A., Fiedeler, U., & Nentwich, M. (2008). Was sind synthetische Nanopartikel? (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 002) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 3). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-002
  • Simkó, M., Nentwich, M., Gazsó, A., & Fiedeler, U. (2008). Wie kommen Nanopartikel in den menschlichen Körper und was verursachen sie dort? (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 003) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 4). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-003
  • Greßler, S., Gazsó, A., Simkó, M., Nentwich, M., & Fiedeler, U. (2008). Nanopartikel und nanostrukturierte Materialien in der Lebensmittelindustrie (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 004) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 5). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-004
  • Gazsó, A., Fiedeler, U., Simkó, M., & Nentwich, M. (2008). Umwelt- und Gesundheitsauswirkungen von Nanopartikeln - EU-Projekte im 6. Rahmenprogramm (NanoTrust-Dossier Nr. 005) (NanoTrust-Dossiers) (p. 6). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ITA-nt-005
  • Ahlborn, A., Bridges, J., de Seze, R., Hillert, L., Juutilainen, J., Mattsson, M. -O., Neubauer, G., Schüz, J., Simkó, M., & Bromen, K. (2008). Possible effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on human health - opinion of the scientific committee on emerging and newly identified health Risks (SCENIHR). Toxicology, 248 ff.Retrieved from
  • Fiedeler, U. (2008). Nanotechnologie und Lebensmittel, 6-7. Retrieved from
  • Nentwich, M. (2007). Nanotechnologie auf dem Prüfstand der Technikfolgenabschätzung, 2. Retrieved from
  • Gazsó, A. (2007). Risikogovernance der Nanotechnologien: Der internationale Stand, 7-8. Retrieved from
  • Gazsó, A., Greßler, S., & Schiemer, F. (Eds.). (2007). nano - Chancen und Risiken aktueller Technologien. nano - Chancen und Risiken aktueller Technologien (p. 246). Wien: Springer.
  • SCENIHR (Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks),. (2007). Possible effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on Human Health. Retrieved from

Conference Papers/Speeches

Conference Papers/Speeches

  • 13/09/2012 , Suzhou
    André Gazsó: 
    Nanomaterials and Safety
    ChiNano2012, International Symposium on Nanomaterials and Nanodevices
  • 06/09/2012 , Beijing
    Myrtill Simkó: 
    A new old dose concept for nanoparticles risk assessment
    6th International Conference on Nanotoxicology
  • 05/09/2012 , Beijing
    Myrtill Simkó: 
    Is there a risk for neurological health effects from accidental exposures to engineered nanoparticles?
    6th International Conference on Nanotoxicology
  • 27/03/2012 , Paris
    Myrtill Simkó: 
    Metrics, dose, and dose concept: The need for a proper dose concept in risk assessment of nanoparticles
    OECD 3rd Expert Consultation Meeting of the WPMN SG7 on Alternative Test Methods in Nanotoxicology
  • 20/02/2012 , Paris
    André Gazsó: 
    General conditions for research and development of converging technologies in Austria
    Ninth Meeting of the Working Party on Nanotechnology
  • 07/12/2011 , Wien
    Myrtill Simkó: 
    Toxikologische Aspekte von Nanopartikeln
    Nano-Tagung 2011: Nanotechnologie und ArbeitnehmerInnen-Schutz
  • 04/11/2011 , Linz
    André Gazsó: 
    Nanopartikel und Risk Governance
    NILaustria General Assembly
  • 22/10/2011 , Warsaw
    André Gazsó: 
    Risk governance and regulatory issues regarding emerging technologies
    SEA-EU-NET Workshop
  • 21/10/2011 , Warsaw
    André Gazsó: 
    Risk governance strategies of nanotechnologies – the Austrian NanoTrust project as an example
    Nanoethics 2011
  • 08/10/2011 , Teheran
    André Gazsó: 
    NanoTrust – Contributing to an Informed Public Risk Debate on Nanotechnologies
    Asia Nano Forum – 8th Summit Meeting
  • 12/09/2011 , Essen
    Myrtill Simkó: 
    Metrics, Dose and Dose Concept: The Need for a Proper Dose Concept in Risk Assessment of Nanoparticles
    International Conference on Biological Responses to Nanoscale Particles
  • 04/09/2011 , Seggauberg/Leibnitz
    André Gazsó: 
    Technische Entwicklung am Beispiel "Nanotechnologie" – Technikfolgen-Abschätzung
    Pro Scientia Sommerakademie 2011 – "Entwicklung"
  • 02/12/2010 , Paris/Orsay
    André Gazsó: 
    NanoTrust – Risk Governance of Nanotechnologies in Austria
    Journées NanoBioTechnologie, NanoTexicologie, Nano et Societé
  • 11/11/2010 , Wien
    Helge Torgersen,  Ulrich Fiedeler: 
    If it is risky, it must be real – How risk discourses co-constitute nanotechnology
    SciCom 2010
  • 11/11/2010 , St. Pölten
    André Gazsó: 
    NANO – Technologische Chance oder gesellschaftliches Risiko?
    NÖ Landesakademie – Umwelt Management Austria
  • 11/11/2010 , Wien
    André Gazsó: 
    NanoTrust – Contributing to an informed public risk debate on nanotechnologies
    SciCom 2010
  • 28/10/2010 , Twente
    André Gazsó: 
    Governing by dialogue: Pre-emptive politics in the field of nanotechnology
    Tentative Governance of Emerging Science and Technology
  • 04/10/2010 , Luzern
    André Gazsó: 
    Nanotechnologie – Chancen und Risiken. Eine Herausforderung für den Arbeitnehmerschutz
    IVSS Fachtagung
  • 30/09/2010 , Darmstadt
    André Gazsó: 
    Governing by Dialogue: Pre-emptive Politics in the Field of Nanotechnology
    S.NET Conference
  • 30/09/2010 , Darmstadt
    Michael Nentwich: 
    Nanotechnology policies in comparison — The cases of Austria, Germany and Switzerland
    Second Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies (S-NET)


10/2017 - 09/2020

Project team



The following collection contains links to national and international research institutions on nanotechnology, accompanying research and risk management. It focuses von Austrian organizations working on and providing informations on a variety of risk aspects and risk governance.

Austrian Workers' Compensation Board (dt. AUVA)

BioNanoNet GmbH

Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (dt. BfR)

Chamber of Labour (dt. BAK) 

Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (dt. BMASK) 

Federal Ministry of Health (dt. BMG)

Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (dt. BMLFUW)

Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (dt. BMVIT)

Federal Ministry of Science and Research (dt. BMWF)

The Innovation Society

Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (dt. ITAS)

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (dt. FFG)

NanoinformationsPortal (german only)

Austrian Society for Toxicology (dt.+en. ASTOX)

Environmental Agency Austria (dt. UBA)

Austrian Economic Chambers (dt. WKO)

Centre for Technology Assessment (dt. TA-SWISS)