Assessing the Potential Risks of Nano-Materials – Emerging Tools for Emerging Risks
Research efforts are actively underway in order to understand and assess the potential environmental, health, and safety risks of engineered nano-materials
(NM). These novel materials present significant challenges to scientists, researchers, governments, and policy-makers not only in terms of understanding
their behaviour in biological and environmental systems but also in terms of how to assess the potentially also new and novel risks for health and the environment. Moreover, the exact definition of what constitutes a “nano-material” is also subject of continued debate and scrutiny (e.g. Lövestam et al. 2010; SCENIHR 2010), hampering on-going efforts for effective regulation of NM among other aspects. Despite this uncertainty however, NM are largely been considered thus far to be a material having “one or more external dimensions in the nano-scale or
which is nano-structured” (British Standards Institute 2007).