German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)


Andrea Haase
Head of the Unit “Fibre and Nanotoxicology”; WP4 lead, Safe Innovation Approach


Mario Pink
Senior scientist in toxicology


Categorisation schemes and New Approach Methodologies

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is the scientific body of the Federal Republic of Germany that prepares expert reports and opinions on issues related to food safety and consumer health protection. The assessments are conducted according to internationally recognized scientific criteria. The institute provides sound scientific advice to federal ministries and agencies, which are responsible for chemical safety, consumer protection and food safety. The BfR also conducts own experimental research to strengthen and substantiate risk assessment processes.

The unit “Fibre and Nanotoxicology” in the Department of Chemical and Consumer Product Safety is in charge of health risk assessments for (nano-) particles and fibres, including the assessments of fibres and substances in nanoform within REACH. The unit also represents the BfR in relevant expert committees such as the ECHA Nanomaterial Expert Group (ECHA) and the OECD Working Party for Nanomaterials (WPMN). Current research of the unit focuses on the establishment of grouping approaches for the toxicological assessment of nanomaterials, the development of screening procedures for nanomaterials based on (surface) reactivity, and the development of alternative and, in particular, data-driven (in-silico) methods to improve the predictability of the toxicological potential of nanomaterials. Additional research activities focus on nano-specific modes of action, inter alia, by means of sophisticated cell biology (e.g. flow cytometry, confocal microscopy) and ‘omics techniques (e.g. proteomics, metabolomics).


Main activities in the project:

  • WP4 co-leader
  • Categorisation scheme
  • Proteomic Profiling and Multiscale modelling approaches
  • Recommendations on adaptation and improvement of current guidelines
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