Nanotechnology’s success is down to the safety of nanomaterials

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Nanotechnology’s success is down to the safety of nanomaterials

Nanomaterials are used in an increasing number of products, but knowledge of their effects on human health and the environment are still insufficient. For this reason, the world’s leading nanotechnology and nanosafety experts will meet at the SENN2015 Congress in Helsinki on 12-15.4.2015, and share the latest research results. The safety of nanomaterials is the key to the success of the whole nanoindustry. Finland is on the front line of research on the safety of nanomaterials. Invitation for journalists

”Solutions that promote the safe use of nanotechnology are essential as the commercialization of nanotechnology expands and a growing number of workers and consumers are exposed to nanomaterials,” says Kai Savolainen Theme Director at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), and chairman of the organizing committee.

”Exposure may occur in the production, transportation, storage, handling, use and recycling of nano-enabled products.”

Nanotechnology’s newest applications in, for example, medicine

New nano-enabled products and nanotechnology applications are constantly being developed. The use of carbon-based nanotubes and graphene in medicine and neurology applications for promoting, for example, communication between cells, has recently awakened great interest. Professor Maurizio Prato from Italy, a specialist in this area will speak about the latest carbon-based nanotube applications on 13.4. After Prato, Professor Olli Ilkkala from Aalto University will present the most recent nanocellulose and nanoelectronics applications.

Some nanoparticles may cause cancer

“There are thousands of different nanomaterials. Many of them are harmless, but some may be hazardous to health and even cause cancer,” explains Hannu Norppa, Research Professor at FIOH.

“The international cancer research centre IARC has classed carbon-based nanotubes as potentially cancer-inducing. The key issues in the research on the safety of nanomaterials are defining the characteristics of nanomaterials that influence their harmful effects, and whether nanosize can make a harmless material dangerous.

Norppa studies different metal-based and fibre-like nanomaterials’ genotoxicity and cancer risk. He will deliver his lecture on Tuesday 14.4 at 9.30.

Nanomaterials’ environmental effects under study in Estonia.

The small size of nanoparticles (< 100 nM ) present countless possibilities for developing the characteristics of products, but at the same time, this small size may make materials toxic if they penetrate the skin and enter the human blood circulation or the environment.

There are already thousands of nano-enabled products on the market that are intended for consumers. The number of consumer products has risen considerably since 2010.*

“The growing use of nanomaterials will inevitably lead to them eventually entering nature,” says one of the world’s most cited environment and ecotoxicology researchers Anne Kahru from Estonia.

Kahru also studies how nanomaterials that contain metals find their way into the food chain and water systems. She will speak on Sunday 12.4 at 14.30

The 2nd “International Congress on Safety of Engineered Nanoparticles and Nanotechnologies” – SENN2015 brings together over 200 nanotechnology and nanosafety experts from 28 different countries at the Marina Congress Center in Helsinki’s Katajanokka on 12 – 15.4.2015. The aim of the Congress is to communicate the latest knowledge on the safety of the manufacture and use of nanotechnology products, and to increase collaboration between the research community and the business world. On Sunday 12.4 before the Congress itself, further education courses will be held for post-graduates and others interested in this area. There will also be a business exhibition. The main organizer of the event is the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and the Congress is funded by the EU Nanosolutions project and the Finnish Work Environment Fund.

Further information

Kai Savolainen, Theme Director, Research Professor, FIOH, tel. +358 40 7420574, kai.savolainen


Hannu Norppa, Research Professor, FIOH, tel. +358 40 5684203, hannu.norppa[at]

Lea Pylkkänen, Specialist Researcher, FIOH, tel. +358 46 8505076, lea.pylkkanen[at]

April 13th, 2015|Latest News|

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