University of Limerick Researchers Join SANOWORK to Study Toxicity of Nanomaterials

Published on March 30, 2012 at 3:56 AM

By Cameron Chai

A research team from the University of Limerick (UL) led by Dr. Syed Tofail from UL’s Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI) has joined SANOWORK, a project funded by European Commission (EC), to evaluate and control potential risks related to nanomaterials.

Dr. Syed Tofail, Leader of the UL team in the SANOWORK consortium and John Mulcahy pictured at the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI), UL.

SANOWORK is a €4.7 million worth EC FP7-NMP research project that involves the participation of five nanomaterial manufacturers and eight public and academic research organizations from across Europe. The project concentrates on the inadequate knowledge related to potential environmental and health risks of nanomaterials.

According to Dr. Syed Tofail, it is not easy to test and control potential impacts of nanomaterials without understanding them. Dr. Martin Mullins, a UL team member, informed that inadequate knowledge is a major issue for insurance firms involved in the process of underwriting risks related to nanomaterials production. The contribution of the UL team to the SANOWORK project will be helpful to in taking informed decisions by the insurance industry to ascertain risk premiums.

The Vice President of Research at UL, Dr. Mary Shire believes that the partnership between the Kemmy Business School’s team of finance and insurance specialists and MSSI’s materials scientists is a key trend-setting model of interdisciplinary research. He is especially happy for UL’s close involvement with five industrial-scale manufacturers of nanomaterials.

The market for nanomaterials is expected to achieve revenues of over a trillion euros by 2020. The innovative properties of the nanomaterials show promise for advancement in nearly every industry and public enterprises such as transportation, electronics, health and environment.

At present, the six-member UL team is in Faenza, Italy to attend the inaugural meeting of the SANOWORK project that started on March 01, 2012. Dr. Anna Costa from the Institute of Science and Technology of Ceramics, National Research Council of Italy, is coordinating the SANOWORK project.

Source: http://www.ul.ie

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