RIVM performs research into the risks of nanotechnology for humans and the environment in order to promote a safe environment and improve public health. The focus lies on nanomaterials. For example, we study how nanomaterials end up in the environment (soil, air, and water) and in the human body and what their distribution will be. In addition, we develop methods and tests to study whether nanomaterials are hazardous for humans and other organisms.

Research projects

RIVM is involved in various national and international research projects. Our in-house research is very much in sync with the questions originating from policymakers and national and international regulators, and we also anticipate questions that we expect to have to deal with in future. We perform literature studies as well as laboratory studies. RIVM also participates in an umbrella organisation that works to coordinate the various EU projects, namely the EU NanoSafety cluster. All the research is financed by the Dutch ministries concerned, by various research programmes of the European Commission or by the Strategic Programme RIVM (SPR).

RIVM is currently involved in the following EU projects:

Nanoreg2 (2015-2018)

REFINE (2017 - 2021)

PATROLS (2018-2021)

NanoPHASE (2015 - 2019)

nTRACK (2017 - 2021)

GRACIOuS (2018 - 2021)

PRISMA (2016 - 2019)

CaLIBRAte (2016 - 2019)



The aim of all the research activities is to provide support for the risk assessment of nanomaterials. As a result of the research activities, we have an extensive network of researchers all over the world, and we are able to provide advice on the basis of our own laboratory findings. There is a particular focus on the scale of the risks associated with nanomaterials produced for specific purposes that are not degradable or degrade very slowly in the environment or in living organisms.

Research themes

RIVM has selected specific research themes that it aims to focus on in the coming years. These are: inhalation toxicology, immunotoxicology, the use of nanotechnology in medical applications and nanomaterials in the environmental compartment of water.

Finalised research

In the past, RIVM has participated in various national and international projects:




EU observatory