Get involved in the NanoExplore Project

The Project

Nanotechnology is a fast growing and promising technology in our society due to its potential to develop new add-values products. Their increased production, handling and availability on the market brings innovative applications, but can also lead to personal exposure with the potential for unforeseen negative health effects. In particular, workers in companies manufacturing and handling nanomaterials are especially at risk, as they are likely to have regular and higher exposures to engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and incidental ultrafine particles (UFPs) than the general population (Iavicoli et al., 2014; Schulte et al., 2009; 2016).

The NanoExplore project aims at an integrated approach for exposure and health effects monitoring of engineered and incidental nanomaterials in occupational settings. The project is supported by the European LIFE programme and is currently in its pilot phase. 

What is the study about?

Biological monitoring has been used for decades as a fundamental tool in environmental and occupational health risk assessment, to identify potential hazards of new and emerging chemicals through the periodic detection of early, preferably reversible, biological indicators (Manno et al., 2010). These indicators are referred to as ‘Biomarkers’ that are widely used in research studies and health surveillance programs.
Biological samples, as Exhaled Breath Condensates (EBCs), Exhaled Air (EA) and urine samples give insights on local (pulmonary) and systemic oxidative stress and inflammatory response (e.g. Graczyk et al., 2016; Desvergne et al., 2016; Pelclova et al., 2018;also reviewed in NanoExplore deliverable DA3). The collection of the samples follows non-invasive procedures.

How will the study work?

  • This pilot study will take place following a two-step procedure, i.e. over two field campaigns separated by a 6- or 9-month interval. Each field campaign will last for 4 days, during which you will be followed in your usual tasks in order to monitor a number of variables in the ambient air. 
  • Before and after starting this 4-day period, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire, to perform a pulmonary function test, and to provide two types of biological samples (urine and expired air) following standardised procedures.
  • The study and sample collection will be performed by experienced staff and you will have the possibility to discuss your results with a referent occupational physician.

Who should participate?

Employees of companies / organisations manufacturing and/or handling nanomaterials in their occupational settings, or concerned with ultrafine particle exposure. Company must be based in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France or Germany.

Why should I take part?

People want to take part in in this research study for many reasons:

  • To learn more about potential risks of exposure to engineered nanomaterials at the workplace
  • To receive personal results relative to exposure to ENMs and biological markers
  • To improve health for others in the future and to help the development of long-term health surveillance and worker protection programs
  • To benefit from exposure control measures set up by your employer as result of this study
  • To help researchers learn important new information
  • To enhance the company image and reputation

How can I participate and learn more about the Study?

Contact and a local Study Representative will get in touch with you.

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