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NANOGENOTOX - Safety evaluation of manufactured nanomaterials by characterisation of their potential genotoxic hazard

Nanotechnology is a highly strategic industrial and economic sector revealing enormous potential benefits for many societal and environmental domains. Human exposure to manufactured nanomaterials (MNs) used in consumer products may occur during several phases of their life cycle, from synthesis, production and inclusion in the products to the release of these nanomaterials into the environment. The lack of scientific knowledge and the absence of evidence showing the safety of certain nanotechnology products make regulation very difficult (Source: January 2009 SCENIHR opinion). Health and safety evaluation is thus attracting the attention of the public and of governments worldwide.

The Executive Agency for Health and Consumers awarded a grant through the second programme of Community action in the field of health (2008-2013) for a Joint Action on the “Safety of nanomaterials”.

The aim of this Joint Action is to establish a robust methodology (specific and sensitive) to assess the potential genotoxicity (i.e. inducing DNA damages) of MNs and to generate data on the genotoxic effect of some reference materials.

Objective of the Joint Action

  • Provide a high added-value complement to the Member States’ policies for nanomaterial safety.
  • Contribute to improve citizens’ health security.
  • Participate in the EU’s leadership position in this field as well as in ongoing international work (OECD, ISO, etc…).

Project target groups

  • General public
  • Regulatory authorities
  • Market surveillance bodies
  • Respective industries
  • Policy-making bodies

Expected major scientific outcomes

  • Strengthen, expand and share the knowledge required for the assessment of the hazard, exposure and overall risk of nanomaterials;
  • Accelerate the exploitation of existing data and the exchange of best practices in risk assessment and risk management;
  • Promote the establishment of robust methodologies using alternative techniques to animal experimentation.

Work plan

The methods and means implemented include three transversal work packages (WP) and four scientific WPs

  • Coordination (WP1)
  • Dissemination (WP2)
  • Scientific evaluation of the project (WP3)
  • Physiochemical characterisation of MNs (WP4)
  • In vitro method for genotoxicity (WP5)
  • In vivo testing for genotoxicity (WP6)
  • Toxicokinetics and tissue distribution (WP7)

The project is coordinated by Agence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire de l’Environment et du Travail (AFFSET). The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, NRCWE, coordinates WP4 and participates in WP5-7.

You’ll find further information about the project here on the website.

Se also the project website.


National Research Centre for the Working Environment | Lersø Parkallé 105 | DK-2100 Copenhagen O | Denmark |

Phone +45 3916 5200 | fax +45 3916 5201 | e-mail: | CVR: 15413700 | EAN: 5798000399518

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