For safe use and handling of nanomaterials, there is a need for more knowledge of their properties and their potential environmental and health risks. The safety aspects of nanomaterials concern their whole life cycle, such as synthesis, development, production, use and management of waste.
In 2016, Swetox, an academic research center for chemicals, health and environment, was commissioned by the Swedish government to develop a national platform for nanosafety.
The Swedish National Platform for Nanosafety, SweNanoSafe, was subsequently launched in May 2016 with a kick-off conference that gathered approximately a hundred participants.
In order to promote safe use and handling of manufactured nanomaterials, the platform aims to strengthen the communication and cooperation between different stakeholders to ensure knowledge exchange in the field of nanosafety.
In collaboration with various stakeholder groups, the platform aims to:
- Ensure knowledge building; assemble and disseminate knowledge on environmental, health and safety issues of nanomaterials, including improving the knowledge base by making scientific expertise available.
- Strengthen the education and training in nanosafety.
- Increase the knowledge on hindrances to a safe use and handling of nanomaterials and how these hindrances can be addressed. An important aspect is the integration of nanosafety early in the innovation process.
The platform will not conduct research or perform safety assessments.
Organisation for Cooperation
The activities of the platform are organised by the Project Team, see organisational scheme below. Senior advisors within the field of nanosafety and on communication contribute to the platform.
For efficient cooperation, an expert panel and a cooperation council for stakeholder groups have been established.
The Cooperation Council consists of representatives from authorities, industry, NGO’s and academia. The council is chaired by Heike Hellmold and currently has approximately thirty members.
Through the council, the needs of information and knowledge about nanosafety among those who work within the field can be highlighted. Therefore, the council plays a key role in the platform ensuring that the benefit of the platform is maximised for the actors involved.
The Expert Panel consists of members with expertise from different disciplines within the field of nanosafety and is chaired by Bengt Fadeel.
An important task of the panel is to ensure the quality and actuality of the knowledge generated and communicated via the platform. Its multidisciplinary composition enables an illumination of nanosafety issues from different perspectives.
The panel also contributes to building a network of nanosafety researchers in Sweden, in order to improve the knowledge base of the platform.
Members of the Expert Panel
Toxicology/Chair: Bengt Fadeel, Karolinska Institutet
Toxicology: Alexander Lyubartsev, Stockholm University
Ecotoxicology: Joachim Sturve, University of Gothenburg
Exposure: Maria Hedmer, Lund University
Jenny Rissler, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Materials Science: Kajsa Uvdal, Linköpings University
Andrea Fornara, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (from December 2016 – 2017)
Risk Assessment: Gregory Moore, Swedish Chemicals Agency
Life Cycle Analysis: Rickard Arvidsson, Chalmers University of Technology
The platform is led by the Steering Committee, which is chaired by the head of Swetox, Åke Bergman. The Steering Committee consists of representatives from the Cooperation Council, the Expert Panel and the Project Team.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency contributes to the work of the platform through a constant dialogue and representation in the Steering Committee, the Cooperation Council and the Expert Panel.
The Web Portal swenanosafe.se was launched in March 2018. The purpose of the site is to serve as a source of knowledge and information within the field of nanosafety.