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Scientists form alliance to develop nanotoxicology protocols
Date:9/9/2008

ZRICH, Switzerland -- Sept. 9, 2008 -- A team of materials scientists and toxicologists announced the formation of a new international research alliance to establish protocols for reproducible toxicological testing of nanomaterials in both cultured cells and animals. The International Alliance for NanoEHS Harmonization (IANH) was unveiled today at Nanotox 2008, one of the world's largest biennial nanotoxicological research meetings.

"When this team of scientists from Europe, the U.S., and Japan are able to get the same results for interactions of nanomaterials with biological organisms, then science and society can have higher confidence in the safety of these materials," said Kenneth Dawson, of University College Dublin and current chair of the IANH team.

Nanotechnology provides the opportunity for enabling new products that could meet a wide range of societal needs, but concerns over potential environmental, health and safety impacts of these materials may limit their adoption. Multiple organizations including the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Nanotechnology Conference for Communication and Cooperation (INC) have highlighted the importance of international collaboration to accelerate understanding of nanotechnology implications for society. This alliance, IANH, was established by leading materials and toxicological researchers to address this need.

Although Andrew Maynard, a leading scientist in this area, is not a member of this alliance, he sees the need for this effort. "This initiative is a major step toward ensuring hazard evaluations of emerging nanomaterials that are both relevant and reproducible," said Andrew Maynard, Chief Scientist, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

The IANH team includes researchers from Germany: Wolfgang Kreyling of Helmholtz Institute; from Ireland: Kenneth Dawson of
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Contact: Vicki Colvin
colvin@rice.edu
713-348-5741
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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