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Managing Risks of Nanoparticles

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Innovative risk management tools and methods for engineered nanomaterials

Standardised and integrated procedures to assess exposure, hazards and risks associated with traditional chemicals are critical to safety regulation and use. The EU initiative, MARINA, has developed similar tools for engineered nanomaterials (ENMs).

Industrial Technologies

Risk related studies increasingly address ENM exposure and toxicity in a variety of individual in-house test procedures. However, an integrated, systematic and generalised health and environmental safety assessment and management framework was yet to be developed. With this in mind, the EU-funded MARINA (Managing risks of nanoparticles) project has developed and validated a strategy for ENM risk assessment and management. MARINA addressed four central themes: Materials, Exposure, Hazards and Risks. It developed a risk assessment strategy for humans and the environment and an integrated and standardised risk management toolbox which were beyond-the-state-of-the-art and resulted in a set of globally applicable referential tools from each of these themes. Specifically, MARINA partners created referential tools from each theme and incorporated them into a set of tools for both human and environmental health. These tools were also demonstrated through case studies. MARINA partners produced a set of reference nanomaterials with referential characterisation methods and made them available for future projects. They also devised methods to advance knowledge in the properties, interaction, exposure and fate of ENMs concerning human health and the quality of the environment. The MARINA team integrated the results from the four themes into a coherent risk assessment and intelligent testing strategy adopted by regulators and industry. Lastly, it set up a comprehensive database of experimental results to understand the interactions of ENMs with humans and the environment. These outcomes were communicated to the OECD members and to the Nanosafety Cluster to ongoing and future projects. Over 80 scientific papers were published in peer-reviewed journals. MARINA's paradigms for risk assessment, management and reduction will support safe and environmentally responsible nanotechnology development with important benefits for society.


Risk management, engineered nanomaterials, hazards, health and environmental safety, nanoparticles

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