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The European Parliament´s Sciene and Technology Options Assessment unit (STOA) has recently published the final report of the ´NanoSafety - Risk Governance of Manufactured Nanoparticles´ project. The report penned by researchers from ITAS-KIT deals with the potential environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENM).
Because of the great uncertainties regarding their actual health and environmental effects and numerous methodological challenges to established risk assessment procedures (toxicology, exposure and hazard assessments, life cycle assessment, analytics, and others), risk management of ENM is confronted with serious challenges. On the other hand, precautionary regulatory action with regard to ENM is demanded by a number of stakeholders and parts of the general public.
Regulation under uncertainty raises fundamental political questions of how lawmakers should regulate risk in the face of such uncertainty. To explore this issue in greater detail, the project focused on two important perspectives of regulation: Risk management strategies for ENM as discussed or proposed for the EU or its Member States, and risk communication problems and needs for EHS risks of ENM.
Findings of the project were discussed with MEPs in several workshops. In addition, the project used also a participatory method in order to investigate the risk communication expectations of the general public.
From the contents
1. Manufactured Particulate Nanomaterials (MPN) - Importance and Fundamentals of Risk Governance 14
1.1. On nanotechnology and nanomaterials 14
1.2. Nanoparticles and their applications - advantages and challenges 14
1.3. On definitions 21
1.4. On the risk management framework 25
2. Risk Assessment 34
2.1. Risk assessment of MPNs and its limitations 34
2.2. State of the art in nanotoxicology 35
3. Concern Assessment 46
3.1. Perceptions, expectations and concerns of the general public 46
3.2. Positions and concerns expressed by Stakeholders 53
3.3. Summary of positions 56
Source: European Parliament
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