General Information
The discovery or development of novel chemicals or materials creates a demand of new knowledge as regards the related potential biological effects and health hazards. Before such materials are launched for different uses, they must be tested for safety without any risks to health according to the legal requirements in the different countries. In Germany these are for example the chemicals ordinance, the medicinals products act, the food regulations, the cosmetics and detergents ordinances, and various other regulations. These requirements are also valid for and applied to...

Release
An exposure to nanoparticles of people and the environment with possible incorporation and impacts can only occur when nanoparticles are released. Consequently nanoparticles cause no effects when they are not released. Nevertheless, during the life time of nanomaterials nanoparticles can be set free by various processes during e. g. production, application or after use.Nanoparticles which are embedded in a composite material can be released into the environment by mechanical, thermal or chemical processes. Mechanical processes can be e. g. drilling, grinding and sawing. Combustion is a...

Contact with nanomaterials
Certain nanomaterials are expected to conquer future markets due to their outstanding properties. The considerable increase in production and the increased use of products that contain materials like that may result in a higher exposure of humans and of the environment. For humans, this may be of relevance to workplaces during production and may play a role when such materials are used or are disposed of. Protective measures or preventive examinations are always part of occupational health and safety and of product safety measures. A release of engineered nanoparticles into the...

intake of nanomaterials
The biological effect of materials or substances depends on their ability of reaching the body or rather the organs and cells inside the body. Detection of the uptake in the respective organism is an essential factor in evaluating nanomaterials and nanoparticles. Like in the case of other substances, nanomaterials are taken up depending on how they occur in the environment: as free particles, bound in another substance e.g., as reinforcements in plastics; distributed in a liquid e.g., as constituents of lubricants or oils. Basically, there are three pathways for all substances...

behaviour of nanomaterials
Inside the Human BodyThe organs of the body are sealed against the outside by dense cell layers, the so-called epitheliums. Nanoparticles cannot get into the body unless they overcome this epithelial barrier by e.g., disturbing the tight bond between the cells or by penetrating into the cells. To achieve this, the nanoparticles must overcome the membranes that surround each body cell and seal it from the environment. This process is referred to as endocytosis. Since the cells continuously take up material from their environment (nutritional components, proteins and sugar, liquids, etc.)...

risks of nanomaterials
There is no simple answer to this question due to the nearly infinite diversity of different nanomaterials and multiple ways in which we get into contact with them. A simple example may demonstrate the concept of risk: Are felines generally dangerous? It depends if the animal is either a pet cat or a big cat! And even if the animal is indeed a lion, do you willingly put your head into its mouth or are you just visiting a zoo where a fence protects you from the wild animals?This comparison clearly illustrates the two important components necessary for describing the term risk namely...