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All new technologies have an inherent risk, which is typically assessed alongside the development of applications of the technology. This is also the case for nanotechnology: a key concern in the case of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) is that due to their very small size, NMs can reach areas such as the cell that are inaccessible to other materials, such as implants and drugs. As a result of their large surface area, NMs may be more reactive than other larger materials. The large physical and chemical variability of NMs, and the fact that small changes can have large consequences, mean that there is insufficient data on which to make safety or risk assessments at present. Thus, a widely supported scientific basis and sufficient high quality data upon which to base regulatory decisions are required urgently. NanoImpactNet (NIN) can support the development and dissemination of such data. This report presents the outcome of the discussions of 60 experts in the field of safety assessment of manufactured NMs from academia, industry, government and non-profit organizations on some of the critical issues pertaining to the development of standard protocols and reference materials for assessment of the potential hazards associated with ENMs. It should be noted here that there was a separate NIN workshop on determining the best metrics for assessing NP safety, and that this workshop was directed specifically to how best to standardise testing protocols and develop reference materials for human health assessment.
Lynch I, Bouwmeester H, Marvin H, Casey A, Chambers G, Berges M, Clift MJD,. Fernandes TF, Fjellsbø L, Juillerat L, Roebben G, Klein C, Wu Q, Hackley V, Kaiser JP, Kreyling W, Garner CM, Hatto P, Dawson KA, Riediker M. First approaches to standard protocols and reference materials for the assessment of potential hazards associated with nanomaterials. NanoImpactNet Report, 2009