In 2016, the academic research center Swetox was commissioned by the Swedish government to develop a national platform for nanosafety. The Swedish National Platform for Nanosafety, SweNanoSafe, was subsequently launched with the aim to, in cooperation with various stakeholders, ensure knowledge building and exchange on environmental, health and safety issues of nanomaterials. Another important aim is to increase knowledge on hindrances to a safe use and handling of nanomaterials in Sweden.
In September 2017, following an idea from SweNanoSafe’s first conference in March 2017, around forty representatives from various stakeholder groups in Sweden gathered to discuss nanosafety at the workshop entitled “Nanosafety – how do we secure future nanotechnology?”. The workshop provided the first occasion for members of the SweNanoSafe Expert Panel and Cooperation Council to meet.
The overall aim of the workshop was to discuss hindrances to a safe use of nanomaterials and potential actions to overcome these hindrances, on a short to middle term basis, in Sweden. Four major areas were discussed: the working environment, consumer protection, nanomaterials in a life cycle perspective, and innovation and product development. The discussions were based on a bottom-up approach, focusing on hindrances encountered by the participants in their everyday occupational activities. Key issues discussed include lack of information on the presence of nanomaterials in products, waste and the working environment, lack of guidance documents and lack of professionals that can measure the concentrations of nanomaterials in the working environment. In addition, educational activities for different target groups, from consumers to advisors within the eco system of innovation, were discussed.
The report reflects views and ideas voiced at the workshop and may serve as a point of reference for future collaboration between stakeholders and future plans of SweNanoSafe. The next steps for the platform include building a network of nanosafety researchers in Sweden, continuing to map and analyze hindrances to a safe use and handling of nanomaterials, and launching a web portal at www.swenanosafe.se to serve as a source of knowledge within the field of nanosafety in Sweden.
Report in Swedish: SweNanoSafe Rapport 2017:2