Reflecting growing high level unease about the safety risks of products produced nanomaterials, in a new report the German Federal Office for Environmental Protection (UBA) has called for consumers to avoid using nano-products until regulations are introduced to manage their safety risks.

Germany is Europe’s largest investor in nanotechnology research and development. 800 German companies work with nanotechnology. The UBA is concerned that although nanoparticles pose new health and environment risks, the industry remains unregulated. The absence of regulation is made worse by the failure of self-regulation. A peer-reviewed survey by Swiss Researchers of German and Swiss companies working with nanoparticles found that 65% did not ever perform any risk assessment of their nanoparticles. Until new safety regulation of nanotechnology comes into force, the UBA advised consumers to avoid using nano-products: “The use of products, which contain or can release nano-materials should be avoided as long as their effects in the environment and on human health remain to a large extent unknown,