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Review article2020Peer reviewed

Key principles and operational practices for improved nanotechnology environmental exposure assessment

Svendsen, Claus; Walker, Lee A.; Matzke, Marianne; Lahive, Elma; Harrison, Samuel; Crossley, Alison; Park, Barry; Lofts, Stephen; Lynch, Iseult; Vazquez-Campos, Socorro; Kaegi, Ralf; Gogos, Alexander; Asbach, Christof; Cornelis, Geert; von der Kammer, Frank; van den Brink, Nico W.; Mays, Claire; Spurgeon, David J.


Nanotechnology is identified as a key enabling technology due to its potential to contribute to economic growth and societal well-being across industrial sectors. Sustainable nanotechnology requires a scientifically based and proportionate risk governance structure to support innovation, including a robust framework for environmental risk assessment (ERA) that ideally builds on methods established for conventional chemicals to ensure alignment and avoid duplication. Exposure assessment developed as a tiered approach is equally beneficial to nano-specific ERA as for other classes of chemicals. Here we present the developing knowledge, practical considerations and key principles need to support exposure assessment for engineered nanomaterials for regulatory and research applications.The operationalization and improvement of environmental exposure assessment models for engineered nanomaterials can build on ten emerging principles relating to their release pathways, waste handling, transformations, influence of the properties on reactions and role that organisms can play in their fate and transport.

Published in

Nature Nanotechnology
2020, Volume: 15, number: 9, pages: 731-742

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

    Publication identifier


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