As an important future technology, nanotechnology1presents an opportunity for positivelyinfluencing economic development in the long term through intensive research and theeffective translation of the research results into innovative products. In many areas it iscurrently not possible to assess the toxicological and ecotoxicological risks associated withthis emerging technology. Nanotechnology is increasingly in the public eye. It is expectedthat the importance of nanotechnology will continue to increase and that workers, consumersand the environment will be exposed to an increasing extent. Hence, there is a need tomonitor the development of the new technology, to weigh up the opportunities and risks in atransparent process and compare them with established technologies.