Nanotechnology and human health: Scientific evidence and risk governance




Report of a WHO expert meeting 10–11 December 2012, Bonn, Germany

Nanotechnology, the science and application of objects smaller that 100 nanometres, is evolving rapidly in many fields. Besides  the  countless  beneficial  applications,  including  in  health  and  medicine,  concerns  exist  on  adverse  health consequences of unintended human exposure to nanomaterials.

In the 2010 Parma Declaration on Environment and Health, ministers of health and of environment of the 53 Member States of  the WHO Regional Office for Europe listed the health implications of nanotechnology and nanoparticles among the key environment and health challenges.

The  WHO  Regional  Office  for  Europe  undertook  a  critical  assessment  of  the  current  state  of  knowledge  and  the  key evidence on the possible health implications of nanomaterials, with a view to identify options for risk assessment and policy formulation, and convened an expert meeting to address the issue.

Current evidence is not conclusive.  As complexity and uncertainty are large, risk assessment is challenging, and formulation of evidence-based policies and regulations elusive. Innovative models and frameworks for risk assessment and risk governance are being developed and applied to organize the available evidence on biological and health effects of nanomaterials in ways to inform policy.

The Russian language version of this report covers the outcomes of the WHO expert meeting. The Annexes (Abstracts, Meeting documents, Background document) are available in the English version only.