Science and Technology Innovation Program


Live Webcast: Release of First International Strategy to Test Nanomaterials' Toxicity

October 20, 2005 // 9:00am10:00am
Event Co-sponsors: 
Maternal Health Initiative


Julie W. Fitzpatrick, Staff Scientist, ILSI RF/RSI; Project Manager, Working Group

Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson Center; Member, Working Group

David Warheit, Staff Toxicologist, Dupont Haskell Laboratory; Member, Working Group

Jim Willis, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution
Prevention and Toxics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A new report for the first time providing scientists with a framework for assessing the potential human health effects from exposure to engineered nanomaterials was released on Thursday, October 20th at 9:00 a.m. at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

This report, developed by the Nanomaterial Toxicity Screening Working Group of the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation/Risk Science Institute (ILSI RF/RSI), is an important step in the new, emerging field of nanotoxicology.

Engineered nanomaterials are commonly defined as materials designed and produced to have structural features with at least one dimension of 100 nanometers (nm) or less. A human hair is roughly 100,000 nm wide. There are an estimated 700 products now on the market claiming to be made from nanomaterials, or to use or support nanotechnology.

In order to identify the key elements of a toxicology screening strategy for engineered nanomaterials, the ILSI RF/RSI Working Group considered potential effects of exposure to nanomaterials by inhalation, dermal, and oral routes; discussed how mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity may differ from those exhibited by larger particles of the same chemical; examined material characterization requirements; and identified available and appropriate testing methods, as well as significant data needs for designing a robust screening strategy.

The report is being published by the journal, Particle and Fibre Toxicology ( It was supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



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