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Natural and anthropogenic

What kind of nano-objects are we talking about?

It is necessary to distinguish natural and "anthropogenic" (related to human activities) nano-objects. Either they are unintentional (combustion, abrasion, processes emitting dust,…) or manufactured. Recent toxicology studies show that some synthesized nano-objects will likely reveal toxic for some forms or chemical compositions. So we must take appropriate precaution measures.


Various types of engineered particles [A.D. Maynard et al., Nanotoxicology 1 (2007) 26-41].

  • homogeneous composition: compact, linear or complex,
  • composed of several surface or volume substances,
  • aggregates or agglomerates, homogeneous or compounds,
  • mono or multi function particles whose the behavior depends on the environment and the context.

About 4,2x105 tones of nanoparticles have been entering the market in France in 2014.