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European Nanomaterial Reference Repository Created

Cadmium sulfide molecular model (NASA)


The European Commission’s research center, based in Italy, has launched Europe’s first nanomaterial repository with a collection representing 25 different types of nanomaterials. The repository, operated by the EC’s Joint Research Centre is expected to aid in safety assessments of nanomaterials.

Materials developed at nanoscale (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter) offer a range of benefits over traditional materials and enable the creation of innovative applications and products. With new exotic materials, however, come concerns for workers, consumers, and the environment about their interactions with other existing materials.

The Joint Research Centre established the nanomaterial reference collection to help build a regulatory framework that benefits business, consumers, workers, and the environment. The repository encourages development of a common risk assessment process that can contribute to the success of nanotechnology and its products. Standardized methods and materials are needed to get comparable test results and to provide reliable data for policy and regulatory decision making.

This first European repository of nanomaterials was created in response to needs for safety-assessment testing by international standards bodies. The repository contains most types of nanomaterials believed to be used in significant volumes in consumer products. Some 8,000 test samples have already been sent to European national authorities, EU-funded research projects, and other international scientific initiatives.

The nanomaterials contained in the repository are produced in collaboration with the German Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology under Good Laboratory Practice conditions. The 25 types of material include carbon nanotubes, silver nanoparticles, titanium dioxide, cerium oxide, zinc oxide, bentonite, gold, and silicon dioxide.

Read More: More International Collaboration Found in Nanotech Research

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