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GRACIOUS: Grouping, Read-Across, CharacterIsation and classificatiOn framework for regUlatory risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials and Safer design of nano-enabled products

Project description

Ensuring the safety of nanomaterials

Manufacturing and functionalising materials at the nanoscale has brought forth a plethora of nanomaterials (NMs) with varying properties. However, these unique characteristics also raise concerns about potential risks to human health and the environment. The challenge lies in conducting safety assessments for each individual NM, which is virtually impossible due to their sheer number. In this context, the EU-funded GRACIOUS project aims to develop a practical framework for grouping of NMs. By collating and assimilating existing and new knowledge, it will provide a comprehensive approach to safety assessment, enabling safer innovation and facilitating risk analysis without extensive testing. The GRACIOUS project holds the key to unlocking the potential of nanomaterials while ensuring their safety.


Manufacturing and functionalising materials at the nanoscale leads to a whole array of nanomaterials (NMs) varying in e.g. size, morphology and surface characteristics. Apart from expected benefits, distinctive properties of NMs may also affect (environmental) health risks. Safety assessment requires sufficient information for each NM, but testing every unique NM for their potential adverse effects is virtually impossible. More efficient ways to obtain safety information are needed, which could be achieved by applying grouping and read-across approaches to NMs. On a conceptual level, regulatory accepted approaches for grouping and read-across for NMs already exist, but actual application remains difficult as the required knowledge is not systematically brought together, lacks data curation or is still missing. GRACIOUS will address this urgent need by developing a framework for grouping and read-across based on physicochemical, release, exposure, environmental fate, toxicokinetic and toxicological information. This framework will be delivered as a practical e-tool, fit-for-purpose for various key (regulatory and industrial) stakeholders, who will be engaged from the start of the project. To develop the framework, GRACIOUS will build upon currently available approaches by collating, curating and assimilating existing and new knowledge on intrinsic and extrinsic physicochemical properties in relation to their (environmental) health risk. The resulting framework will support safe innovation by enabling considerations of safety a.o. via grouping and read-across in industrial decision making at various stages of product development. For regulators and policy makers, GRACIOUS will facilitate actual application of grouping and read-across of NMs to enable risk analysis of NMs without extensive testing.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 860 792,50
EH14 4AS Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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Scotland Eastern Scotland Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 860 792,50

Participants (24)