10th EWHN Conference for labour & occupational health and safety representatives and professionals
“Workers finding a voice in a new Europe"
Friday September 29th to Sunday October 1st 2006, 
Baltic Beach Hotel, Majori, Jurmula, 
Latvia

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Info meeting 9

NanoCap

Coordination Action FP6

 

Coordinator:         IVAM UvA, dept Chemical Risks

                            Roeterstraat 33

NL-1018 WB Amsterdam

Contact person:    Pieter van Broekhuizen (pvbroekhuizen@ivam.uva.nl)

                            Tel: +31 20 525 6324

Project period:      September 2006 – September 2009

 

 

 

Summary

Nanotechnology is a major growth area in research and industry. Applications of nanotechnology include advanced materials, textiles, prosthetic implants, food and drugs. Nanosizing products has many benefits. However, there is also a serious debate about the potential hazards of nano-particles (<100 nm), when introduced into the environment and the workplace.

The NanoCap[1] Coordination Action (CA) is a European project that is set up to deepen the understanding of environmental, occupational health and safety risks and ethical aspects of nanotechnology by organising a structured discussion between NGOs, academic researchers and other stakeholders. This CA will enable environmental NGOs and trade unions to participate in a debate on nanotechnology at European level. It will improve their understanding of this new technological field, and it will give them the opportunity to formulate their positions within their actual policy context supported by scientific input, to inform their members and the general public and to discuss the issues.

In addition to NGOs and trade unions, NanoCap will develop recommendations to enable public authorities to address the health, safety and environmental risk issues related to the rapid introduction of nanotechnology into society. At the same time it is the goal of this CA to give also industry the tools to introduce a “responsible nanotechnology”, i.e. to stimulate industrial and academic R&D performers to focus on source reduction regarding nano-particles and to make risk assessment an important dimension in their work.

NanoCap is a consortium of 5 environmental NGOs, 5 trade unions and 5 universities  (see list of participants) that will hold a series of focused working conferences, in which a structured enhancement of stakeholder capacities is planned. The universities take care of scientific input for the conferences. NGOs and trade unions will bring in their preliminary positions after discussions with their members. A portfolio on ethical issues and a position concerning “responsible nanotechnology” will be prepared and actively disseminated.

The three-year project is carried out along a series of four (closed) working conferences, followed by an international conference for the general public. At the working conferences external experts may be invited by the NanoCap organisation.

The following, subsequent theme’s for the conferences will be considered:

·        building a level playing field of nanotechnological definitions, techniques, setting borderlines, addressing fields of interests, identifying interesting new developments

·        fundamental and applied nanotechnological R&D at universities and in industry

·        Environmental implications, external risks

·        Occupational safety and health, risk assessment

·        Test systems for nano particles, implications for agreed testing systems within REACH and for standard setting (OELs)

·        Ethics, nanotechnology and nano-R&D

·        Role of NGOs versus role of R&D and role of the industry

·        Drawing criteria for the assessment of nanotechnology materials: research, production and use

In this respect contacts will be made with industry, international consortia and boards involved in discussions about nanotechnology. Dissemination of the criteria will be performed by the partners within their own organisations and by using their own existing channels towards the authorities making European policy.

 

image 001

 

List of Nanocap partners

No

Code

Organisation name

Country

1

IVAM

IVAM, Research and Consultancy on Sustainability

NL

2

SNM

Stichting Natuur en Milieu

NL

3

LA

Legambiente

IT

4

BEF

Baltic Environmental Forum

LT

5

EEB

European Environmental Bureau

EU

6

MIO

Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and  Sustainable Development

GR

7

FNV

Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging

NL

8

AMIC

AMICUS the Union

IE

9

ETUI

European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety

EU

10

KOOP

Kooperationsstelle Hamburg

DE

11

PPM

ppm Forschung und Beratung

AT

12

UAAR

University of Aarhus Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO)

DK

13

TUD

Technische Universität Darmstadt, Institut für Philosophie

DE

14

KUL

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Department of Public Health

BE

15

UES

University of Essex, Biological Sciences

UK

16

ECDO

University of Amsterdam, Expertisecentrum Duurzame Ontwikkeling

NL

 

IVAM

Amsterdam, August 2006



[1] Nanocap is the acronym for “Nanotechnology Capacity Building NGOs”

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