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Swiss nanotech risk management tool developed


ST. GALLEN, Switzerland—A system for managing nanotechnology risks has been developed by two Swiss and German companies and is expected to be in use later this year.

The Innovation Society Ltd., a St. Gallen, Switzerland-based nanotechnology consulting firm, said in a statement that its CENARIOS system is the first "certifiable nanospecific risk management and monitoring system."

TUV SUD, a Munich, Germany-based company, provides certification services, based on a catalogue of safety requirements, that can document a company's nanotechnology risk management processes under the CENARIOS system.

The CENARIOS system ensures that companies using nanotechnologies are idenfitying and managing their risks according to state-of-the-art standards, The Innovation Society explained.

Properly managing nanotechnology risks is important because "mid- and long-term effects of nanosized materials on human health and the environment have not been fully understood," The Innovation Society pointed out. "In addition, there are many legal uncertainties," the firm noted, because it is unclear how nanomaterials are to be treated under regulations that address "traditional" chemicals.

A Swiss nanotechnology company is expected to be the first to begin using the new system later this year, according to The Innovation Society.