NanoSafety - Risk Governance of Manufactured Nanoparticles (Study and Options Brief)

This report 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.

External author 

Torsten Fleischer, Jutta Jahnel and Stefanie B. Seitz (ITAS-KIT)