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Posted: June 5, 2008
OECD launches sponsorship program for safety testing of nanomaterials
(Nanowerk News) OECD’s Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials has launched a “sponsorship program” in which countries will share the testing of specific nanomaterials at its 3rd meeting in November 2008. Much valuable information on the safety of nanomaterials can be derived by testing a representative set for human health and environmental safety.
In launching this sponsorship program the Working Party agreed a priority list of nanomaterials for testing (based on materials which are in or close to commerce) as well as a list of endpoints for which they should be tested.
The Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials1 was established in 2006 to help member
countries efficiently and effectively address the safety challenges of nanomaterials. OECD has a wealth of
experience in developing methods for the safety testing and assessment of chemical products.
The Working Party brings together more than 100 experts from governments and other
stakeholders from: a) OECD Countries; b) non-member economies such as Brazil, China, the Russian
Federation, and Thailand; and c) observers and invited experts from UNEP, WHO, ISO, BIAC2, TUAC3,
and environmental NGOs.
Although OECD member countries appreciate the many potential benefits from the use of
nanomaterials, they wished to engage, at an early stage, in addressing the possible safety implications at
the same time as research on new applications is being undertaken.
The Working Party is implementing its work through eight specific projects to further develop
appropriate methods and strategies to help ensure human health and environmental safety:
Development of a Database on Human Health and Environmental Safety Research;
Research Strategies on Manufactured Nanomaterials;
Safety Testing of a Representative Set of Manufactured Nanomaterials;
Manufactured Nanomaterials and Test Guidelines;
Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes;
Co-operation on Risk Assessment;
The role of Alternative Methods in Nanotoxicology; and
Exposure Measurement and Exposure Mitigation.
Each project is being managed by a steering group, which comprises members of the WPMN,
with support from the Secretariat. Each steering group implements its respective 'operational plans', each
with their specific objectives and timelines. The results of each project are then evaluated and endorsed by
the entire WPMN.