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

Safety and Security issues of nanotechnologies have hardly been the subject of research yet. NanoTrust is a public information platform aiming to identify the most pressing issues.

Nanotechnologies promises new materials and products, e.g. in medicine, cosmetics, optics, or construction. NanoTrust collects the knowledge available on the subject, analyses it and communicates it to the public as well as to decision-makers, thus helping to organise an exchange of knowledge.

The field of nanotechnologies is gaining momentum in the context of the development of technology. However, aspects of safety and security have not been sufficiently explored yet for science 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.

The central aim of NanoTrust4, the fourth phase of the project, is to offer political decision makers options for the regulation of nanotechnologies. This includes questions of risk management, consumer safety or safety in the work place.

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

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

10/2016 - 09/2020