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From research conducted at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Assessing the consequences of nanotechnology

Nanoparticles ensure that sunscreen protects the skin from UV rays and clothing repels dirt, but they have many other uses as well, ranging from microelectronics to medical applications.

Foto Nanofasern
Nanofasern wie in diesem Bild finden sich in Kleidung mit UV-Schutz. Das Besondere an ihnen: Sie sind mit weniger als 300 Nanometer Durchmesser 1000-mal feiner als ein Menschenhaar. Photo/Graphic: BASF Pressefoto.

However, the full extent of their effects has still not been adequately investigated, and long-term damage to human health and the environment cannot be completely ruled out. Scientists at the KIT Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), led by Professor Michael Decker and Torsten Fleischer, are examining how researchers, policymakers, companies and members of society can best approach the opportunities and risks associated with nanotechnology and how they can enter into a constructive exchange of information and opinions. The goal of this project is to ensure that the utilisation of new technologies is based on the principle of prevention. ITAS also provides consultation on policy decisions and legislation.

Saskia Kutscheidt