From the 12th to the 17th of March 2017, the NanoImpact Conference organized by EMPA was taking place in Monte Verità (Switzerland). During this event, the HEHS Center presented in a speech its results in the field of Experimental life-cycle simulations of nano-enabled products and characterization of transformed and released materials and Implementation of Safe by design strategies in GUIDEnano textile case study.

The last 10 years saw an enormous growth in nanosafety funding and published research. Many of these results have gained high media attention and consequently, regulators, industry and the public demand answers whether these new materials represent a potential novel threat to humans and the environment and whether nanomaterials need to be assessed differently and more stringent than conventional materials.

It is now the time to unite leading researchers in the specific spirit of the Monte Verità meetings and allow them to intensely reflect on the results achieved and to conclude on the state of the environmental nano-research.

The overall goal of the planned conference will be to integrate the scientific knowledge available about nanomaterial exposure, fate, effects and risks in the environment. The core topic of all presentations should address whether nanomaterials have novel fate routes and effects and pose new and unknown threats under environmentally relevant conditions that are caused by their special properties and that cannot be scaled from larger particles.

Specific objectives of the conference will be:

  • Discuss environmental exposure of nanomaterials including their release from products and their detection in complex matrices.
  • Outline transport and transformation pathways of nanomaterials
  • Discuss uptake and effects in organisms and food-chains
  • Present the progress towards environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials
  • Identify nano-specific issues in exposure, fate, effects and risks
  • Discuss the relevance of engineered nanomaterials compared to natural nanoscale particles
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