The widespread use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products and the overwhelming uncertainties in their ecological and human health risks have raised concerns regarding their safety among industries and regulators. There has been an ongoing debate over the past few decades on ways to overcome the challenges in assessing and mitigating nano-related risks, which has reached a phase of general consensus that nanotechnology innovation should be accompanied by the application of the precautionary principle and best practice risk management, even if the risk assessment uncertainties are large. We propose a quantitative methodology for selecting the optimal risk control strategy based on information about human health and ecological risks, efficacy of risk mitigation measures, cost and other contextual factors. The risk control (RC) methodology was developed in the European FP7 research project SUN and successfully demonstrated in two case studies involving real industrial nano-enabled products (NEPs): nano-scale copper oxide (CuO) and basic copper carbonate (Cu2(OH)2CO3) used as antimicrobial and antifungal coatings and impregnations for the preservation of treated wood, and two nanoscale pigments used for colouring plastic automotive parts (i.e. red organic pigment and carbon black). The application of RC for human health risks showed that although nano-related risks could easily be controlled in automotive plastics case study with modifications in production technology or specific type of engineering controls, nano-related risks due to sanding and sawing copper oxide painted wood were non-acceptable in the use lifecycle stage and would need the identification of a more effective risk control strategy.

Controlling the risks of nano-enabled products through the life cycle: The case of nano copper oxide paint for wood protection and nano-pigments used in the automotive industry

Semenzin E.;Subramanian V.;Pizzol L.;Zabeo A.;Hristozov D.;Marcomini A.
2019-01-01

Abstract

The widespread use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products and the overwhelming uncertainties in their ecological and human health risks have raised concerns regarding their safety among industries and regulators. There has been an ongoing debate over the past few decades on ways to overcome the challenges in assessing and mitigating nano-related risks, which has reached a phase of general consensus that nanotechnology innovation should be accompanied by the application of the precautionary principle and best practice risk management, even if the risk assessment uncertainties are large. We propose a quantitative methodology for selecting the optimal risk control strategy based on information about human health and ecological risks, efficacy of risk mitigation measures, cost and other contextual factors. The risk control (RC) methodology was developed in the European FP7 research project SUN and successfully demonstrated in two case studies involving real industrial nano-enabled products (NEPs): nano-scale copper oxide (CuO) and basic copper carbonate (Cu2(OH)2CO3) used as antimicrobial and antifungal coatings and impregnations for the preservation of treated wood, and two nanoscale pigments used for colouring plastic automotive parts (i.e. red organic pigment and carbon black). The application of RC for human health risks showed that although nano-related risks could easily be controlled in automotive plastics case study with modifications in production technology or specific type of engineering controls, nano-related risks due to sanding and sawing copper oxide painted wood were non-acceptable in the use lifecycle stage and would need the identification of a more effective risk control strategy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3716243
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