You are here:

Questions and Answers on Nanotechnology

Updated FAQ of 28 August 2012

The term "Nanos" comes from the Greek and means dwarf. "Nano" is the term used for the billionth part of a metre (= 1 nanometre). Nanotechnology is the generic term for a wide range of technologies used in the research, development, processing and production of structures and materials measured within the nanometre scale. Nanomaterials of this kind can have completely new properties and functions. Due to the dynamic development of this key technology, production quantities are increasing which can also lead to an increased exposure situation for the population in general if nanomaterials are released from consumer products, for example. In the meantime, nanotechnology actually is being used selectively in many areas of everyday life in items such as cosmetics, foods and consumer products, without consumers being aware of this. For various product areas such as foods and cosmetics, however, specific labelling regulations have already been drawn up which are to come into effect in the foreseeable future. The object of the BfR’s risk assessment is specifically manufactured nanomaterials. Whether or not unknown risks for the consumer can emanate from these new nanomaterials or products containing them has not yet been fully clarified from a scientific point of view. Furthermore, more than half of all Germans hardly know anything about nanotechnology, its uses and possible risks. The BfR has compiled selected questions and answers on nanotechnology in the following paragraphs.



expand all


Date Title Size
Updated FAQs
Questions and Answers on Nanotechnology 51.8 KB


More information


Our Mission Statement

"Science to serve humanity" is the guiding principle of BfR.

Cookie Notice

This site only uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more on how we use cookies in our Data Drotection Declaration.