Nanotechnology is an emerging technology increasingly exploited in the development of novel and improved products in areas as diverse as medicine, biotechnology, electronics, materials science and energy technologies.
The rapid increase in the use of nanoparticles in consumer products and industrial manufacturing processes is, however, raising questions about the potential effects on health and the environment and what the risks and benefits are.
The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) is actively involved in research into nanomaterials safety, identification and detection. In particular it focuses on a science-based understanding of nanomaterial properties and effects, alongside development of improved measurement and testing methods.
The Institute is progressively building up a nanomaterials repository and a database of test and research results. It is important that the EU's legislative actions concerning nanotechnology are based on sound information and scientific judgment.
This work is undertaken in close collaboration with the Member States, universities, research institutions and international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).