French Scientist Urges India to Pay attention on Issue of Nanoparticles

India needs to pay attention to the disposal of lab-synthesised nanoparticles, an important area of research, as they might pose environmental and health hazards, cautioned a French scientist on Friday.

"There are a lot of centres in India trying to create nanoparticles but the Indian government must address the fate of those particles, particularly in the context of human health," said Marc Benedetti, professor of the department of chemistry at the University Denis-Diderot (IPGP) in France.

"We have to know what happens once their application is over," he said at a discussion at the Indian Association for The Cultivation of Sciences here.

Nanoparticles have applications in cosmetics, material coatings, electronics and fuel additives, and their use in medical applications such as drug delivery and release is being investigated.

They have also been implicated in causing damage to crops and are being scrutinised for their negative effects on the environment and health.

Benedetti was in the city to attend the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) outreach programme.

CEFIPRA is India’s first and France’s only bilateral organisation which has been in existence for the past 27 years, committed to promote collaboration between the scientific communities of the two countries across the knowledge innovation chain.

The centre, established in 1987, receives financial support from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of France.

With regards to collaborations, Benedetti said new projects will be initiated in the area of risk assessment of tectonic activities in the Himalayas. Apart from this focus will intensify on global climate change studies.

However, according to researcher Alain Fontaine of the Fondation Nanosciences in France, India also needs to strengthen its material sciences and nano-polymer sciences field.

(With inputs from IANS)

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