Tom van Teunenbroek, Ministerie I&M

Title: ProSafe - NANoREG - via NANoREG and ProSafe to Solutions
Session: Tuesday 6 October, 14:45


Are nanomaterials (NMs) a serious threat to environment and health?
NMs are part of the 21st century and daily life:
• Nanotechnology is one of the six "Key Enabling Technologies" (KET's) in the EC
• Nanotechnology shows unlimited possibilities
• Nanotechnology is of paramount importance for the transition to a knowledge-based and low carbon resource-efficient economy
• Nanotechnology is important for the competitiveness of European industries in the knowledge economy.

The limited understanding of the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) aspects of NMs is a threat to capitalization of the potentials of nanotechnology. It leads to uncertainty on how to judge the EHS aspects of these materials in a regulatory context. This has a negative impact on the investment climate and on societal appreciation of products containing NMs. There is a lot of research on characterization, release, kinetics, mode of action, etc. on NMs. It is shown in the increase of number of publications on EHS aspects.
The FP7 project NANoREG is an approach to collect and establish scientific knowledge (reliable data) on EHS aspects of NMs. It's a top-down approach to assure the value of generated data, which is a basic condition for linking in vitro-in vivo experiments, categorization, read across, etc.
The H2020-ProSafe project is designed to have a central, supporting and coordinating position in the chain of EU, member states and international relationships, including ongoing initiatives such as NANoREG. ProSafe will, among others, promote the acceptance/uptake of Safe by Design at all levels of the NMs value chain, following the complete life-cycle.
ProSafe will have its 'grand finale' in the development of a White Paper which should:
• Convince regulators there is a need and a possibility to regulate NMs in such a way that the innovation potential of nanotechnology can be fully exploited while at the same time unacceptable risks for human health and the environment can be avoided.
• Present a feasible philosophy and accompanying set of instruments to measure and assess the effects of NMs and their applications, that has the support of stakeholders and that can be implemented in regulation. The Joint Document summarising the regulatory relevant results of NANoREG, OECD WPMN and selected FP7 projects by the ProSafe task Force, will provide the input for this activity.
• Present –for the long(er) term- a way forward to integrate the safety aspects of nanomaterials in the innovation process.

Then we will know if NMs offer opportunities instead of threats to environment and health.





TOM VAN TEUNENBROEK received his dual doctorandus in Molecular Biochemistry/Toxicology and Chemistry from Universiteit Utrecht in 1984. He then practised as a neurotoxicologist at the universities of Utrecht, Maastricht and Chicago, until in 1991 he became owner and co-founder of the environmental consultancy company Ameco. Then, from 2000-05, van Teunenbroek took the position of State Supervisory Environmental Inspector for the Ministry of VROM (Environment). He has since been working at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in a number of high-level positions, including Policy Coordinator, Research coordinator, Representative for The Netherlands for OECD-WPNM and Coordinator of NANoREG.



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