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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Feedback on the final conference of the European Joint Action NANOGENOTOX

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News of 01/03/2013

The final conference of NANOGENOTOX, the European Joint Action coordinated by ANSES since 2010, was held in Paris at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on February 22, 2013. The event brought together more than 200 participants from around the world (scientists, national and EU-level policy makers, representatives of various stakeholders) to review the scientific output generated by the project and to discuss the implications of these results. 


Launched in March 2010 and coordinated by ANSES, NANOGENOTOX brought together 30 partners (scientific organisations and ministries) from 13 EU Member-States. Its goal was to provide the European Commission and the Member-States with a robust and reliable method for detecting the genotoxic potential of manufactured nanomaterials that may lead to cancer or reproductive toxicity in humans.  NANOGENOTOX studied fourteen manufactured nanomaterials, chosen because of their possible uses in different product types (cosmetics, food, common consumer products) and their potential exposure routes (oral, dermal, inhalation).

The final conference for the project was held in Paris at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on February 22, 2013. Throughout the day, the large amount of scientific data generated by NANOGENOTOX were summarised and presented for discussion by the 200 participants from around the world who attended the event. The need for a complete and reliable physico-chemical characterization of both the raw and dispersed materials was reiterated. NANOGENOTOX proposed standard operating procedures for characterization and a standard dispersion protocol. From its results, adaptations to existing OECD in vitro and in vivo test guidelines were proposed. In addition, the Joint Action confirmed that it is not possible to classify as "monosubstance" the families of manufactured nanomaterials studied, since within a single family differences were observed with regard to physico-chemical characterisation, in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity, as well as toxicokinetic behaviour.


Studies to be pursued

Throughout the day, discussions emphasised the rich scientific output of the NANOGENOTOX joint action. In addition to this new information, the project has contributed to creating and further strengthening the links between the participating institutes. These links will be crucial for pursuing the work on the many issues that still need to be resolved. The support of the European Commission will be vital for the follow-up, through funding of European research projects or other mechanisms. The results of NANOGENOTOX will also contribute to the valuable work being conducted by the members of the OECD Working party on manufactured nanomaterials and which will continue in the coming years, namely through the Sponsorship Programme for the Testing of Manufactured Nanomaterials.