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ISO report on toxicological tests for nano-objects

by Roger Frost on
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ISO has recently published a technical report to help specialists conducting toxicological tests on nano-objects.

Nanotechnologies are expected to be a key economic driver for the 21st century. They promise significant benefits, including enhancements in medical diagnosis and treatment; more efficient energy sources; lighter, stronger and cheaper materials, faster and more powerful electronic products, and cleaner, cheaper water. At the same time, particular attention is being paid to the effects of specific nanomaterials, particularly nanoparticles, on human health and the environment and ISO's work in the field includes the development of standards on these aspects.

ISO technical report ISO/TR 13014:2012, Nanotechnologies – Guidance on physicochemical characterization of engineered nanoscale materials for toxicologic assessment, is intended to assist health scientists and other experts to understand, plan, identify, and address relevant physicochemical characteristics of nano-objects before conducting toxicological tests on them.

Dr. Richard Pleus, leader of the ISO team that developed ISO/TC 13014, comments: “By understanding the chemical and physical characteristics of nano-objects, we are working to decrease toxicity of materials and promote the development of safer alternatives.

“The work done in this document has a fundamental importance in toxicology, as it tells scientists the material being tested needs to be understood: What does it look like? What is it made of? How does it interact with the surrounding environment?”

Nanotechnology, which refers to the manipulation and control of matter in the nanoscale (approximately 1 to 100 nm), is revolutionizing virtually all industry sectors, from information technology to medicine to clean energy production

ISO/TR 13014:2012, Nanotechnologies - Guidance on physicochemical characterization of engineered nanoscale materials for toxicologic assessment was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies, working group WG 3, Health, safety and environment. It costs 134 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication and Information department.