An estimated 30,000 people gathered at the World Social Forum in Nairobi where participants had a chance to vote for their favorite Nano-Hazard Symbol – a design that warns of the presence of engineered nanomaterials (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter).
The winners of the international graphic design competition were announced today. The winning designs were submitted by: Dimitris Deligiannis (Greece), Shirley Gibson (Scotland), and Kypros Kyprianou (England).
“Tiny tech is no small matter – there was intense competition to design a nano-hazard symbol, and enormous interest in Nairobi,” said Pat Mooney of ETC Group. “We ended up with three winners who were virtually tied for first place,” explained Mooney.
The competition netted 482 unique designs from 24 countries. An independent panel of judges selected 16 finalists that appeared on the ballot in Nairobi.
The winning designs will be submitted to international standard-setting bodies responsible for hazard characterisation and could be used as a label on product-packaging or workroom walls. Because of their extremely small size and large surface area, nano-scale particles may be more reactive and more toxic than larger particles of the same substance. Even though hundreds of products containing engineered nanoparticles are on the market, the toxicology of nanoparticles is largely unknown.