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IMPART — Result In Brief

Project ID: 13968
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Switzerland

Knowledge is power, even at nano level

Nanotechnology is being increasingly applied in a wide range of applications. However, there is still concern over the potential risks of nanoparticles to human and environmental health.
Knowledge is power, even at nano level
While companies worldwide hasten to claim their place in the nanoworld with mass-production of nanoparticles, fears remain that such materials may be harmful in ultrafine particle form. This calls for greater understanding of both the immediate and long-term implications of nanotechnology in today's society.

The primary aim of the 'Improving the understanding of the impact of nanoparticles on human health and the environment' (Impart) project was to prevent the lack of knowledge in this area leading to the exclusion of nanoparticles from technological advances.

A coordination seminar was held alongside the EU-funded project kick-off meeting. The aim was to increase awareness on the part of the consortium partners of work currently being performed in the field so as to streamline project objectives and minimise duplication of research efforts.

Impart project members were grouped into topic subdivisions of materials for consideration, implications for human health and exposure, and impact on the environment and related legislative measures. At an expert group meeting alongside a second coordination seminar, Impart members discussed project progress and identified gaps. One of the outcomes was further division of the topic specialisation into sub-projects.

Following a project suspension and internal review actions, a new team was set up with another coordinator and the withdrawal and entry of five new partners, respectively. This reactivated the project and work continued.

Impart's main exploitable results include a database on nano-safety, risk publications and project reports. The latter individually focus on the status of the impact of nanomaterials on health and environment, recommendations and guidelines for legislation policymakers and for research policymakers, and a guidance booklet on nanoparticle safe handling. An input report introduced nanotechnology and nanomaterials, exploring nanoparticles and human health, exposure to nanomaterials, effects on the environment, legal issues and regulation.

Through research and dissemination activities, the Impart project contributed to enhanced understanding and knowledge surrounding the potential impact of nanoparticles in daily life and industry applications.

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