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Nanostructured materials - Grouping for occupational health and consumer and environmental protection and risk mitigation (nanoGRAVUR)


This third-party funded project is conducted in the framework of the BfR research programme on nanotechnology.

BMBF grant number: 03XP0002D

Project homepage: -

Project description:

Nanotechnology offers numerous new applications in various areas of industry (e.g., in the chemicals industry, electrical engineering, and medical engineering). The specific challenge lies in the optimal use of the potentials of these partially new technologies and, at the same time, in their responsible handling.

In view of the large variety of existing synthetic nanomaterials, some of which have been used for decades in conventional products and most of which, besides, are available in numerous modifications (different sizes, shapes, chemical composition, and surface functionality), the effort of analysing their behaviour and effects while observing specific regulatory requirements is tremendous. Regarding the variability of possible effects, it isalso impossible to assess the potential risk for each individual nanomaterial.

The current state of knowledge on the hazard posed by nanomaterials towards protected assets is so complex that the nanoGRAVUR project made it its central objective to develop different criteria catalogues for a grouping of nanomaterials according to the respective potentials for exposure, hazard and risk. The grouping approach, which so far has been used only in special cases (e.g. for fibres), can be used among other things in areas such as occupational health and safety, product identification, and regulation, which presently still have to rely on individual case studies.

BfR parts of the project:

Within various working packages, the BfR participates in the grouping of nanomaterials with regard to material properties and human-toxicological effects, experimental testing of material properties and toxicity, establishing grouping focused on risks for consumer protection, and the analysis of regulatory applicability of such concepts. The BfR is dealing with the work package for establishing grouping focused on risks for consumer protection.

Project partners:

  • Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Germany (coordinator)
  • Institute for Energy and Environmental Technology, Germany
  • UBA, Germany
  • BASF SE, Germany
  • Institut für Gefahrstoff-Forschung, Germany
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Germany
  • The Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Germany
  • IBE R&D gGmbH, Germany
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz
  • University of Münster, Germany
  • Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
  • HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG, Germany
  • Zoz GmbH, Germany
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung, Germany
  • General Reinsurance AG, Germany


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