History

A Brief Historical Perspective of NanOEH

Historical locations for the NanOEH Symposium

1st in Buxton, UK, 2004

2nd in Minneapolis, USA, 2005

3rd in Taipei, Taiwan, 2007

4th in Helsinki, Finland, 2009

5th in Boston, USA, 2011

6th in Nagoya, Japan, 2013

7th in Limpopo Province, South Africa, 2015

8th in Elsinore, Denmark, 2017

 In response to growing concerns over possible worker exposures to engineered nanoparticles, the First International Symposium on Nanotechnology and Occupational Health was organized by the British Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) and held under NIOSH co-sponsorship on 12-14 October 2004, in Buxton, England. 150 scientists from around the world met to discuss issues of engineered nanoparticle toxicology, exposure and control, and regulation. A series of workshops on the final day resulted in the development of a series of research needs and important issues to be addressed.

The Second International Symposium on Nanotechnology and Occupational Health attracted 350 researchers, government officials and industry leaders from more than 20 countries to Minneapolis in October, 2005. The primary sponsors were NIOSH, the University of Minnesota, the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology at Rice University, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

 The third meeting, now renamed the Third International Symposium on Nanotechnology, Occupational and Environmental Health, was held in Taipei, Taiwan, in August-September 2007 and drew 274 participants from 25 countries. The most significant papers from this meeting were published in a special edition of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

The Fourth International Symposium on Nanotechnology, Occupational and Environmental Health, was held in Helsinki in August 2009 and drew 297 participants from more than 30 countries.

The scientific program was built around eight main themes:

  • Characteristics of engineered nanoparticles
  • Exposure assessment to engineered nanoparticles
  • Toxicity and health effects of engineered nanoparticles
  • Effects of engineered nanoparticles on the environment
  • Control technologies and instrumentation
  • Risk assessment of engineered nanoparticles
  • Management and prevention of risks of engineered nanoparticles
  • Regulatory framework

During the Conference the following questions arose:

  • Which characteristics of ENM, and their interactions with their surroundings determine ENM toxicity?
  • What are the key organs and cells targeted by the main groups of ENM and which factors render these critical targets sensitive to ENM?
  • Which characteristics of ENM best correlate with their effects so as to provide an adequate basis for their characterization and measurement?
  • Which is the most appropriate decision tree approach for effective evaluation of ENM toxicity and safety?
  • Which risk management approach best differentiates the most harmful ENM from the less hazardous ones?
  • What are the crucial issues that affect the perception of novel unknown risks in different human populations?

These themes and questions were further explored in the Fifth International Symposium.

The sixth NanOEH symposium was held at Nagoya, Japan, and focused on the risks related with nanotechnology. The seventh NanOEH symposium was held in South Africa; it focused on toxicology topics. The eighth symposium held in Denmark in 2017 provided extensive discussions with the theme of “Closing the gaps in nanosafety” including the current state of the art for strategies for exposure assessment, hazard evaluation and risk assessment.

At the 9th NanOEH, we plan to combine OEH Nanotechnology topics with Sustainability and discuss the evolution in the past two decades. Participants are invited to review and reflect on these topics in advance of the meeting.

The 9th NanOEH Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado, USA, partnered with SNO to explore “Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials for Sustainability” for the future in 2020’s. This combined NANO CONFERENCE is the 9th conference for both NanOEH and SNO.

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