The worldwide use of nanomaterials in consumer products and in diverse industries is already large and is growing rapidly. Due to the increasing prevalence of these materials their impact on health and environment is becoming more and more relevant. Simultaneously, their unique chemical and toxicological properties are not yet fully established, mainly because of their low size and high specific surface area, and international standards and guidelines are still to be developed.
For the next step in the standardisation and risk assessment process, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) and the Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR) are launching an interlaboratory comparison in the framework of the Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS). The call for participation is now open for the interlaboratory comparison on "Surface analysis of oxide nanoparticles" using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) for new standards in ISO/TC 201 and/or TC 229.
Interlaboratory comparisons provide a technical basis for harmonised measurements, testing, specifications and standards which are necessary for acceptance of the procedures used in risk assessments. The VAMAS interlaboratory comparison on "Surface analysis of oxide nanoparticles" is part of the H2020 ACEnano research project with 28 partners from 12 countries, including universities, research centres, governmental institutions and small and medium enterprises. The goal of ACEnano is to introduce confidence, adaptability and clarity into nanomaterial risk assessment by developing a widely implementable and robust tiered approach to nanomaterial physicochemical characterisation.