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InfoNano is the central federal information platform for nanotechnology. The Federal Offices of Public Health, for the Environment and for Agriculture, the Commission for Technology and Innovation, Swissmedic and the State Secretariats for Economic Affairs as well as for Education and Research are involved in the website.

InfoNano provides information about the opportunities and risks associated with nanotechnology and synthetic nanomaterials. It is aimed at promoting the dialogue among administrative, economic, research and societal stakeholders.

The possibilities of nanotechnology for consumers are promising and range from scratch-resistant lenses and anti-graffiti paint to ultra-light bicycles or more powerful batteries and solar cells. However, the concerns about possible risks are growing along with the rising prevalence of nanoproducts and media reports about seemingly fantastical visions for the future.

In the field of medicine, nanotechnology offers new opportunities in the development of drugs and diagnostics and for the improvement of implants. But nanomaterials may be harmful if they are released during the manufacture, use or disposal of a product and are inadvertently taken up through airways, gastrointestinal tract or skin.

Nanotechnology promises increased resource and energy efficiency and may in some cases be used to replace harmful substances. However, adverse effects have been observed in laboratory experiments with fish and other organisms in connection with certain synthetic nanomaterials.

Occupational safety
Nanomaterials are used in a growing number of production and processing processes. The availability of information along the entire production and trade chain is essential in order to define the respective required protective measures.

Specialist staff:
Last updated on: 31.03.2015

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Many consumer goods contain antibacterial silver nowadays, often in form of nanoparticles ("nanosilver"). Are there any risks for consumers arising from such products? Using toxicity data and a pharmacokinetical human model, several exposure scenarios were assessed for potential human health risks of nanosilver.
16.04.2014 | 673 kb | PDF

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