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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.
    The document – List of Manufactured Nanomaterials and List of Endpoints for Phase One of the OECD Testing Programme (pdf download, 188 KB) – shows the results, so far, from the project Safety Testing of a Representative Set of Manufactured Nanomaterials.
    Source: OECD