Science never stands still, so a static book of regulations would have a very short period of usefulness before its contents became outdated. For this reason, the authors have made provision for future revisions of the new work even before its publication. "In a follow-on project (DaNa; www.nanopartikel.info) a special SOP form is being prepared which will be used to provide feedback to the authors on improvements to the standardized methods," explains Krug. These improvements will then be integrated into future editions of the Quality Handbook.
Are nanoparticles dangerous?
The Nanommune research project, which lasted for three years, dealt with the toxicological characterization of industrially produced nanoparticles which are to a certain extent "designed" as opposed to naturally occurring nanoparticles such as fine dust. These synthetic nanoparticles have enormous potential to aid industrial growth and to making a significant contribution to enhancing the quality of life of billions of people. However, the risks involved in the use of nanoparticles have to date not been fully investigated. Nanoparticles are over 100 times smaller than a cell and therefore possibly not recognized by the human immune system. Where they accumulate, what paths they take through the body and what effects they have are all questions which are currently under study. There is no reason to panic, according to Krug, for although industrially produced nanoparticles have been used for several decades already, they are not known to have caused any detrimental health effects.
|Contact: Professor Dr. Harald Krug|
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)