Posted: July 5, 2007

Swiss action plan for nanotechnology risks

(Nanowerk News) The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) have published the Basis Report to the Swiss Actionplan Risk Assessment and –management of engineered nanoparticles.
Nanotechnology and nanomaterials offer new possibilities and are the basis for a new generation of products. The basic report for the Swiss Action Plan summarizes current knowledge on the risks of synthetic nanoparticles. The report deals with the various products and applications now available, effects on human health and on the environment, occupational safety, legislation, communication and the estimation of the effects of technology. Then, it is deduced what action is needed as the basis for the concrete recommendations to be worked out in the action plan for the safe use of nanoparticles.
The new report serves as a basis to the deduction of recommended actions and measures to protect employees, the population and the environment.
The Actionplan is intended to outline the necessary tasks for a safe handling of engineered nanoparticles in Switzerland. If needed, measures should be proposed to protect employees, consumers and the environment. A detailed Actionplan will be available after a governmental consultation in Autumn 2007, while the implementation of the proposed measures included in the Actionplan is provided for the time between 2007 and 2009.
Topics discussed are
• Presence and application of engineered nanoparticles in consumer products
• Health- and environmental risks of engineered nanoparticles
• Physical and chemical hazards of engineered nanoparticles
• Current knowlodge in the field of occupational health and safety
• Analysis of the regulatory environment and the need for adaptations
• Projects and results in Technology-Assessment and communication
• Identification of research needs
The Basis Report has been composed by an interdisciplinary team of experts and was critically reviewed in stakeholder consultations. Besides the main authors (consortium of The Innovation Society, St.Gallen, ETH Zurich, University of Berne and IST Lausanne), the project team involved members from FOEN and FOPH, the State Secretariate for Economic Affairs (SECO), the State Secretariate for Education and Research (SER), the Center for Technology Assessment (TA-SWISS), SUVA (Schweizerische Unfallversi–che–rungs–anstalt), Swissmedic and ETH Lausanne.
The Innovation Society, St. Gallen, served as an external consultant and lead the preparation of the report.
The full report consists of 286 pages and contains short and extended summaries in German, Englisch, French and Italian. The main parts of the report are in German.
Source: The Innovation Society
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