Nanosafety Newsletter n°50 (December 23, 2011)


The OMNT wishes you

a Merry Christmas !

and a Happy New Year

News & Reports

EC requests SCENIHR for scientific opinion on Nanosilver

The use of nanosilver in medical and consumer products is expected to increase. While recent reviews suggest that nanosilver may not be hazardous to humans and may result in low internal exposure data remain insufficient to carry out a full risk assessment. In addition, indirect adverse effects on human health may occur via an increasing resistance of micro-organisms against silver, including nanosilver and silver based compounds. This may limit the usefulness of nanosilver in medical devices and other medical applications.

On this basis, the European Commission asked its Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) to assess whether the use of nanosilver, in particular in medical care and in consumer products could result in additional risks compared to more traditional uses of silver. Furthermore, the SCENIHR is asked to assess whether the use of nanosilver to control bacterial growth could result in resistance of micro-organisms...

Reinforcing EU legislation on health and safety at work

The effects of new technologies on health must be assessed and nanomaterials must be covered by current EU health and safety rules, says a resolution, passed on Thursday, on a mid-term review of the EU's 2007-2012 health and safety at work strategy...

Latest OECD publications in the Series on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials

On December 16, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released 3 additional publications on its series on safety of manufactured nanomaterials:

n°30: Regulated Nanomaterials: 2006-2009 - The document presents the analysis of the information obtained from the Questionnaire on Regulated Nanomaterials: 2006-2009 issued August 27th, 2010 by the WPMN project on Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes.

n°31: Information gathering schemes on nanomaterials: lessons learned and reported information - This report summarises the results obtained from the second (2010) Information Gathering Schemes questionnaire of the project on Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes on Nanomaterials.

n°32: National activities on life cycle assessment of nanomaterials - This document compiles information on national activities on life cycle assessment and nanotechnologies provided by delegations. It is intended to provide a “snapshot” of information on activities related to the Life Cycle Assessment of Manufactured nanomaterials at the national and international level. As a living document, it is expected to be updated as new information becomes available.


New report of the European Observatory on Nanosafety

The 5th report of the European Observatory on NanoSafety (EONS) offers a review of selected articles from the recent NanoEHS literature. This expert analysis has been performed by partners of the ENPRA consortium together with French experts of the Observatoire des Micro & Nanotechnologies (OMNT) at the 5th ENPRA/EONS expert panel meeting held in Paris on October 13, 2011.

As part of the dissemination strategy of the ENPRA project, EONS reports contribute to inform stakeholders of the latest nanoEHS research advances thanks to the expert survey of the domain. To download the full report click here. Excerpts from previous EONS reports are accessible on the ENPRA website.

NIST Releases First Certified Reference Material for Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued the world’s first reference material for single-wall carbon nanotube soot. Distantly related to the soot in your fireplace or in a candle flame, nanotube-laden soot is the primary industrial source of single-wall carbon nanotubes, perhaps the archetype of all nanoscale materials. The new NIST material offers companies and researchers a badly needed source of uniform and well-characterized carbon nanotube soot for material comparisons, as well as chemical and toxicity analysis...


Japan Establishes Committee on Safety Management for Nanomaterials

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a Committee on Safety Management for Nanomaterials, which was scheduled to hold its first meeting on December 2, 2011. METI states that it established the Committee “on the basis of the results obtained from the project ‘Research and Development of Nanoparticle Characterization Methods’ commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the latest scientific knowledge.”  The Committee will focus on risks caused by nanomaterials, and study appropriate management procedures for nanomaterials considering the actual usage and life cycles. According to Japan’s November 30, 2011, press release, the Committee will compile an interim report “around spring to summer in 2012.”

Trojan Horse Causes Nanoparticle Allergy

Workers with existing allergic conditions have worse reactions when exposed to nanoparticles in the workplace, suggest Chinese scientists. They believe that the response is caused by a Trojan horse known as an exosome, which is present in all of us...

Related article: "Exosomes as Extrapulmonary Signaling Conveyors for Nanoparticle-Induced Systemic Immune Activation" by Zhu et al. Small (Early View)

Events & Announcements

BfR Conference on Nanosilver

On February 8 and 9, 2012, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is holding a scientific conference on the health risk assessment of nanosilver. The aim of the conference is to provide an overview of the current scientific state regarding the production and application of nanosilver in consumer products and food. Therefore, all major aspects will be taken into account like identity, analytical characterisation and exposure, toxicology, bacterial resistance and biocidal efficacy, risk assessment and data gaps.
The conference language will be English. Simultaneous translation for German and English will be provided on both days...


Webinar: "Managing Nano Risk – Implementation of a Risk Management System for Nanomaterials"

The Innovation Society, St.Gallen and Marsh is organizing its second, free-of-charge webinar on February 23rd 2012 (16.00-17.00). Manufacturers and distributors of nanomaterials and nano-based products as well as retail companies, insurances and investors are invited to attend the webinar…

ANSES: call for experts on Nanomaterials & Health

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) is establishing a new working group on «Nanomaterials & Health - Food Environement & Work» and is soliciting nominations for experts to serve on this working group. Dealdine for application is January 27, 2012. For more information click here (Article in French).


Articles & Reviews

European Journal of Law and Technology: special issue on nanotechnology regulations

The European Journal of Law and Technology (EJLT) Special issue on the regulation of nanotechnology is now officially online. The issue and all contributions can be accessed at The issue contains 15 contributions that canvass some of the most pressing philosophical, ethical and regulatory questions currently being debated around the world in relation to nanotechnologies and more specifically nanomaterials.


Modest effect on plaque progression and vasodilatory function in atherosclerosis-prone mice ...

... exposed to nanosized TiO2

(...) We investigated plaque progression and vasodilatory function in apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE-/-) mice exposed to TiO2. ApoE-/- mice were intratracheally instilled (0.5 mg/kg bodyweight) with rutile fine TiO2 (fTiO2, 288 nm), photocatalytic 92/8 anatase/rutile TiO2 (pTiO2, 12 nm), or rutile nano TiO2 (nTiO2, 21.6 nm) at 26 and 2 hours before measurement of vasodilatory function in aorta segments mounted in myographs. The progression of atherosclerotic plaques in aorta was assessed in mice exposed to nanosized TiO2 (0.5 mg/kg bodyweight) once a week for 4 weeks. We measured mRNA levels of Mcp-1, Mip-2, Vcam-1, Icam-1 and Vegf in lung tissue to assess pulmonary inflammation and vascular function. TiO2-induced alterations in nitric oxide (NO) production were assessed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).(...) Repeated exposure to nanosized TiO2 particles was associated with modest plaque progression in ApoE-/- mice. There were no associations between the pulmonary TiO2 exposure and inflammation or vasodilatory dysfunction.
From L Mikkelsen, M  Sheykhzade, K A Jensen et al. - Particle and Fibre Toxicology 2011, 8:32

In vivo genotoxicity study of titanium dioxide nanoparticles using comet assay following intratracheal instillation in rats

(...) In the present study, the genotoxicity of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles was evaluated in vivo using the comet assay after a single or repeated intratrachial instillation in rats. The nanoparticles were instilled intratracheally at a dosage of 1.0 or 5.0 mg/kg body weight (single instillation group) and 0.2 or 1.0 mg/kg body weight once a week for 5 weeks (repeated instillation group) into male Sprague-Dawley rats. A positive control, ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) at 500 mg/kg, was administered orally 3 hours prior to dissection. Histopathologically, macrophages and neutrophils were detected in the alveolus of the lung in the 1.0 and 5.0 mg/kg TiO2 groups. In the comet assay, there was no increase in% tail DNA in any of the TiO2 groups. In the EMS group, there was a significant increase in% tail DNA compared with the negative control group. TiO2 nanoparticles in the anatase crystal phase are not genotoxic following intratracheal instillation in rats.
From M Naya, N Kobayashi, M Ema et al. - Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (In Press)

Evaluation of apoptosis induced by nanoparticles and fine particles in RAW 264.7 macrophages: facts and artefacts

Current hazard characterisation of nanoparticles (NP) is predominantly based on in vitro test systems, being established for small molecules of drugs and chemicals. However, specific physicochemical properties of NP may result in interference with assay components, biomarkers, or detection systems. In the present study, six types of (nano)particles were screened in RAW 264.7 macrophages by common cytotoxicity methods (WST-1, LDH). Our specific focus was on the investigation of apoptosis (analysis of hypodiploid DNA, phosphatidylserine exposure, caspase 3/7 activation, and Cell Death Detection ELISA). Assays were validated by the well-known apoptosis inducer staurosporine. (...)
From V Wilhelmi, U Fischer, D van Berlo et al. - Toxicology In Vitro (In Press)

Tattoo inks in general usage contain nanoparticles

Tattooing has never been thought of as a method of introducing nanoparticles (NPs) into the human body by the intradermal route, and as such it has never been a topic of research in nanotoxicology. In this study, the authors have measured the particle size in various tatoo inks using laser diffraction, electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Except for the white pigments most tatoo inks tested were found to contain significant amounts of nanoparticles.
From T Høgsberg, K Loeschner, D Löf et al. – British Journal of Dermatology (2011) 165:1210-1218


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Chief editor: Stéphane Fontanell; Managing Editor: Marie-Claire Toufektsian