Risk Assessment, Life Cycle Assessment, and Decision Methods for Nanomaterials


Eisenberg, D., Grieger, K., Hristozov, D., Bates, M., & Linkov, I. (2015). Risk Assessment, Life Cycle Assessment, and Decision Methods for Nanomaterials. In Nanomaterials in the Environment (pp. 383-419). Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers.


More than a decade has passed since the UK Royal Society’s report (RS RAE 2004) spurred research and discussions on the potential health and environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). Scientists, regulators, and other decision makers are still developing and establishing sound risk assessment (RA) approaches for ENMs. This chapter provides a detailed overview of RA methods and tools for ENMs. It specifically focuses on approaches that apply to ENM risk management despite the paucity of physiochemical and (eco) toxicological data and exposure models. In particular, it focuses on the recommendation to use different methods for different risk-based decision contexts. The chapter first presents select RA methodologies developed for ENM comparative assessment, screening, and management, and then overviews life-cycle analysis for ENMs. The chapter also presents RA frameworks that combine assessments to support decision making. Finally, it describes data needs for ENM RA.