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There is growing scientific concern on the potential health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials. As the particles are so small, they have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier and also the placenta.

Nanotechnology refers to processes in which material is manufactured at the atomic and molecular scale for novel properties and usage. Synthetic nanoparticles can show very different behaviour and properties than their larger counterparts.

The exact amount of products which include nanomaterials is unknown, but there is evidence that they are widely used everyday items such as food, cosmetics, and increasingly in medical applications (nano-silver). Yet no adequate laws are in place to account for the scientific uncertainty on the hazards of nanomaterials.

HEAL advocates that nanomaterials should only be used if their safety for health and environment is proven. We support the development of a definition on nanomaterials and methodologies for risk assessment at EU and international level.

Take Action!

Scientific Committees: open call for experts in nanotechnology

To meet the expected demand for safety assessments of nanomaterials in cosmetic products, the Commission’s Health and Consumers Directorate General intends to identify relevant experts who will assist the work of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).

The selected experts will assist the SCCS in the safety assessment of nanomaterials in cosmetic products. The deadline for submissions to the “Call of expression of interest for experts in nanotechnology is 15 October 2012. Act now!

Submit opinions on nanosilver & antimicrobial resistance + nanomaterials in medical devices

The EU Scientific Committees are calling for information (publications, references) for an opinion they will make on nanosilver & antimicrobial resistance.Take action now!

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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