Nanomaterials are made up of structures at least one of whose dimensions is between approximately 1 and 100 nanometres, thus giving them very unusual physical, chemical or biological properties.
More and more uses are now being found for nanomaterials, since they are suitable for many innovative applications, especially in the industrial sector and in health products. The potential health hazards related to the development of manufactured nanomaterials is recognised as an important emerging risk. See the Agency’s work in this area.
As with any chemical, the fate of nanomaterials in the human body and their associated potential toxicity depend mainly on their physico-chemical properties (size, shape, solubility, etc.). However, partly due to the specific properties of manufactured nanomaterials, scientific knowledge of traditional substances cannot be directly transferred to nanoscale forms. Today, the widespread dissemination of nanomaterials through a variety of consumer products calls for a better understanding of the exposure of workers in this sector to these nanomaterials, as well as exposure of consumers and the general population as a whole. In this context, the Agency has conducted several expert appraisals on these topics.
The article has been added to your library