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t4 workshop report - Nanotoxicology: “the end of the beginning” – Signs on the roadmap to a strategy for assuring the safe application and use of nanomaterials

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Ellen K. Silbergeld1, Elizabeth Q. Contreras2, Thomas Hartung3, Cordula Hirsch4, Helena Hogberg3, Ashish C. Jachak1, William Jordan5, Robert Landsiedel6, Jeffery Morris5, Anil Patri7, Joel G. Pounds8, Andrea de Vizcaya Ruiz9, Anna Shvedova10, Robert Tanguay11, Norihasa Tatarazako12, Erwin van Vliet3, Nigel J. Walker13, Mark Wiesner14, Neil Wilcox15 and Joanne Zurlo3
1 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA;
2 Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA;
3 Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA;
4 Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), St. Gallen, Switzerland;
5 US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA;
6 BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany;
7 Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Frederick, MD, USA;
8 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA;
9 CINVESTAV, Mexico City, Mexico;
10 National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, Morgantown, WV, USA;
11 Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA;
12 National Institute of Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba-City, Ibaraki, Japan;
13 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA;
14 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA;
15 Office of Cosmetics and Colors, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, US Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD, USA (Current affiliation: Lorillard Tobacco Company, Greensboro, NC, USA)


In October 2010, a group of experts met as part of the transatlantic think tank for toxicology (t4) to exchange ideas about the current status and future of safety testing of nanomaterials. At present, there is no widely accepted path forward to assure appropriate and effective hazard identification for engineered nanomaterials. The group discussed needs for characterization of nanomaterials and identified testing protocols that incorporate the use of innovative alternative whole models such as zebrafish or C. elegans, as well as in vitro or alternative methods to examine specific functional pathways and modes of action. The group proposed elements of a potential testing scheme for nanomaterials that works towards an integrated testing strategy, incorporating the goals of the NRC report Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy by focusing on pathways of toxic response, and utilizing an evidence-based strategy for developing the knowledge base for safety assessment. Finally, the group recommended that a reliable, open, curated database be developed that interfaces with existing databases to enable sharing of information.

ALTEX 28(3), 236-241
DOI: 10.14573/altex.2011.3.236

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