Italian researchers have performed a review of available data and risk assessment approaches for engineered nanomaterials from a regulatory perspective, published this month in Nanotoxicology.
It has been largely recognised that substantial limitations and uncertainties make the conventional risk assessment (RA) of chemicals infeasible to apply to engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) today, leaving regulators with little support in the near term.
Researchers from the University Ca' Foscari Venice, Italy, have this month published a review in the Nanotoxicology journal that discusses the state of the art in the area of risk assessment of ENMs, focusing on the available data and approaches.
Danail Hristozov and colleagues highlight that 'There is a paucity of reliable information in the online safety databases and the literature is dominated by (eco)toxicity studies, while the nano-exposure research lags behind. Most of the reviewed nano-RA approaches are designed to serve as preliminary risk screening and/or research prioritisation tools and are not intended to support regulatory decision making.'
Based on the outcomes of the review, which was funded under the EU FP7 ENPRA Project, the researchers recommend that the possibilities for applying complementary/alternative tools, such as Quantative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR)-based predictive models, are further investigated using data currently available in the scientific literature. This will enable near-term risk assessments to be conducted in support of timely regulation.
Click here to access the paper through Nanotoxicology.
Reference: Hristozov, D.R., Gottardo, S., Critto, A. & Marcomini, A. 2012, "Risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials: a review of available data and approaches from a regulatory perspective," Nanotoxicology [epub ahead of print].