In an editorial published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives Thadeus Schug and Srikanth Nadadur from U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) as well as Anne Johnson from MDB inc. argue that there is a need to better understand risks of exposure to nanomaterials (NMs) in order to develop science based risk assessment guidelines (Schug et al). The authors explain that due to particulate properties of NMs, full and accurate characterization is necessary to determine dose-response relationships. They point to the Engineered Nanomaterials Grand Opportunity (Nano GO) consortium, which was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and carried out “round-robin” experiments aimed at ensuring consistent in vitro and in vivo toxicity test methods and results. Central characterization of NMs was critical to standardize approaches and evaluate results. Schug and colleagues conclude that the open communication and interdisciplinary cooperation between participants in the Nano GO consortium is vital to the establishment of reliable assays and methods for engineered NMs.


Schug, T. et al.. “Nano GO Consortium—A team science approach to assess engineered nanomaterials: reliable assays and methods.” Environmental Health Perspectives 121 (published online May 6, 2013).