World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore
Session Schedule & Abstracts
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Ensuring the long-term sustainability of emerging nanotechnologies
Room: Creation 11:00–12:30
|Chair(s): Danail Hristozov
1 SUN project: an integrated approach towards sustainable nanoinnovation. Hristozov D, Ca' Foscari University of Venice (220)|
Abstract: Our understanding of the environmental and health risks from manufactured nanomaterials is uncertain, which may demolish consumer confidence, stagnating nanotechnology innovation. This has emphasized the need to manage risks at the design stage of nanotechnologies in order to ensure their long-term sustainability.
The new large-scale EU project SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies) (http://www.sun-fp7.eu/) addresses this need as it studies the long-term risks along the life-cycle of production, use and disposal of nano-enabled products. The project aims to give clear answers to questions from regulatory authorities, and open new possibilities for innovators to design greener nanotechnologies. This will be achieved through development and application of new methods and tools for prediction of exposure, effects and risks for humans and ecosystems and implementable practices for risk prevention and management in each product life-cycle stage. This approach aims to protect innovation by providing data and prospective tools to streamline effective decision making about safer products and processes.
In order to achieve this, SUN will combine Risk Assessment and Life-cycle Assessment to develop a user-friendly software-based Decision Support System for practical use by industries and regulators. The industrial partners in the SUN consortium will evaluate and âreality-checkâ this system against real industrial products in terms of cost/benefit and insurance risk. This validation will culminate in guidelines for safe nanoscale product and process design.
2 Defining and measuring sustainable nanotechnology. Linkov I, US Army Corps of Engineers (227)|
Abstract: Sustainable nanotechnology is being touted as a holistic and pragmatic concept that can guide incremental nanotechnology development amidst significant data gaps and uncertainty. Although there is increasing interest in the topic, there is little consensus on how Sustainable Nanotechnology is defined and measured. We argue that Sustainable Nanotechnology should be defined using âTriple Bottom Lineâ framework where the three pillars of sustainability are defined as: the environment, society, and economy. A TBL definition of sustainable nanotechnology needs to be specific enough to guide the development of metrics through which manufactures, regulators, consumers and other stakeholders can quantify sustainability of specific products and processes. TBL definition of sustainability naturally leads to the use of multi-criteria decision analysis where criteria and metrics are used to prioritize alternative nano technologies or products based on their performance. This presentation will summarize state-of-the-science in applying sustainability for EHS considerations in general and specifically for nanomaterials. It will illustrate quantification of sustainability through the use of life cycle analysis, value of information analysis, risk assessment and other analytical tools.
3 Assessing the human hazard of nanomaterials at different life cycle stages. Stone Vicki (221)|
Abstract: The EU funded project SUN aims to develop tools for nanomaterials risk decision making. As part of that process, data demonstrating the relative human hazard of a range of nanomaterials is required.Initial hazard studies within SUN have focused on assessing the hazard of CuO and WCCo nanomaterials in vitro to RAW264.7 macrophages, and C3A hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, using CuCl₂ and CoCl₂ as controls. Endotoxin content was very low or not detectable for both particles. A wide range of concentrations were used in order to generate detailed dose response curves for analysis using the Bench Marking Dose procedure via PROAST.
Particles were dispersed according to the protocol established during the ENPRA project . Cells were treated for 24 hours before assessing viability (Alamar Blue and LDH) as well as cytokine production.
The results in RAW264.7 cells showed that CuO NMs (BMD₂₀=25.50 Âµg/ml; EC₅₀=40.97 Âµg/ml) were more toxic than WCCo NMs (BMD₂₀=48.10 Âµg/ml; EC₅₀=98.08 Âµg/ml). Also in C3A cells, CuO NMs showed a higher toxicity (BMD₂₀=25.80 Âµg/ml and EC₅₀=32.54 Âµg/ml) compared to WCCo NMs (BMD₂₀=157 Âµg/ml and EC₅₀>200 Âµg/ml). Further studies will include the evaluation of the released and aged forms of the same NMs and also the single components of the NMs (i.e. WC vs. Co). This will allow us to understand the possible adverse effects of NMs along their entire life cycle.
In vivo CuO nanoparticles were tested in rats via a Short Term Inhalation Studies (STIS) which includes a 5 day exposure to a range of particle concentrations. Inflammation was observed in the lungs at day 6 (1 day post exposure) that had subsided by 28 days, although a small macrophage response may reside which is being investigated further.
The next stage is to incorporate the CuO particles into a paint matrix and then to fragment the composite to generate repairable particles for further toxicity testing and potential for release of nanoparticles.
4 The efficacy of nanomaterial risk assessment and risk management systems for financial risk transfer to the insurance sector. Murphy F (228)|
Abstract: The ability to effectively communicate risk to key stakeholders is a prerequisite for the long term viability of the nanotechnology sector. The juxtaposition of control banding as a methodology for managing risk will improve the ability of the NT industry to more effectively manage risk communication and indeed lower the risk profile of the industry. However, the importance of the insurance sector as a key stakeholder that can measure and transfer the risk from industry has been somewhat unrecognized. The existing mechanisms of the insurance sector to access emerging risk are also poorly understood.
This research examines the existing and potential role of the insurance sector to assess and manage engineered nanotechnology risks. This uniquely describes the risks from the lexicon of the insurer, i.e. in terms of worker liability, product risk, environmental liability, etc. Such a perspective should contribute to the research dialogue as these risk groupings are also associated with actuarial experience and with a monetary value of the insured risk. Such an approach echoes the various regulatory bodies vested in this domain such as Health and Safety Authorities, Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agencies. Indeed, this research puts forward the vision that the insurance sector should act as a front line proxy regulator for the industry.
Finally, this research addresses the historical experience of the insurance sector and their concerns regarding the potential for systematic and long-tailed risk in the NT sector. The importance of these concerns and goals is clear. An insured NT sector will propagate best practice in risk management and assist policy makers in assessing the impact of new technology. This we believe is a necessary step towards ethical and well informed decision making on the part of stakeholders.
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