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Nanotorus SiO2 (Source INAC, CEA).

The nanoparticles are finding new industrial applications every day in fields as various as electronics, biomedicine, pharmaceutics, chemical catalysis, new materials, cosmetology and others.

Economists are now speaking about the dawn of a new industry for the 21st century that could rank with the automobile and microelectronics industries.

Nevertheless, this new industry will only be dynamically developed if two critical conditions are met:

  • first, the safety issues have to be settled for the entire life cycle of the nanoproducts: from fabrication to the end of life through usage,
  • second but not least, nanotechnologies have to be understood and adopted by the public at large.

Hence, important work is performed to reduce so far as we can the risks induced by the fabrication and use of nanomaterials. This requires an evaluation of the hazards of nanoparticles, as well as techniques that bring exposure under control.

In parallel to this scientist and technical work, there is a need for accompanying training, educational and public dialogue actions.

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