New project to assess the environmental risks of nanomaterials

A new major project has been launched by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the possible adverse environmental effects of 10 specific nanomaterials.

Among the selected substances are nano-titanium dioxide, which most people are or have been exposed to via sunscreens and paint, as well as nano-silver, which is used in washing machines and sportswear because of its antibacterial effect. Also nano-cobber and carbon nanotubes are among the more "known" substances to be examined.

It is the largest Danish tender in this research field so far and COWI has been commissioned to assess the impacts of the project. COWI has however not been asked to make recommendations for legislative action.

The project is funded by the national budget where a specific pool is earmarked so-called investigation projects to identify whether nanomaterials can be harmful to the environment and consumers in Denmark. The project will run until mid-2015.