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International summit to integrate the scientific knowledge available about nanomaterial exposure, fate, effects and risks in the environment(Mar.12-17,2017, Switzerland)

Wiesner, Mark
Duke University
Start date
End date
The benefits of nanomaterials and their enabling properties have resulted in widespread use in industry and consumer products. As we approach 20 years of research on the potential impacts of nanomaterials on human health and the environment, differences remain in the scientific and regulatory communities regarding whether nanomaterials need to be assessed differently and more stringently than conventional materials. There is however a growing consensus that nanomaterials exhibit complex and interesting interactions with organisms and ecosystems. There is also visible convergence regarding methods of evaluation and assessments where nanotechnology is likely to yield greater environmental benefits or risks. This conference will take stock of what has been learned, point the scientific community towards specific conclusions, discuss needs for data integration, and finally identify remaining research gaps. The overall goal of the conference will be to integrate the scientific knowledge available about nanomaterial exposure, fate, effects and risks in the environment.

The conference will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the state of the science on nanomaterials, their impacts, and their applications, with a dedicated discussion of applications and implications at the nano-bio interface. Specific scientific objectives of the conference will be:
- Discuss environmental exposure of nanomaterials including their release from products and their detection
- Summarize known transport and transformation pathways of nanomaterials
- Discuss recent findings on 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 nanomaterials compared to natural particles
The main results obtained from addressing the above objectives will be summarized in a synthesis paper, which concludes on the topic of whether nanomaterials pose a novel threat under environmentally relevant conditions.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
Sanitation and Quality Standards