Risk Ranking Framework to Assess the Health Hazard of Nanomaterial-Containing Products in an Industrial and Consumer Application Setting

A.K. Madl, K. Unice, M. Kreider, M. Kovochich, I.G. Bebenek, M.M. Abramson
ChemRisk, US

Keywords: nanomaterials, risk assessment, nanotoxicology


The unique combination of size, structure, morphology, physical/chemical characteristics, and quantum properties of nanomaterials, presents a challenging platform in understanding the potential hazards and health risks of engineered nanomaterials and the products that utilize these materials. Two nanomaterials with appreciable differences in structure and function, carbon black and carbon nanotubes, were utilized in a case study of a risk ranking framework in an industrial and consumer setting. The development of the hierarchical framework elucidated several parameters as primary drivers of the risk ranking estimates, including releasability from the matrix or system, exposure pathway and intensity, bioavailability, biopersistence and severity of health effects. As expected, the risk ranking scores were different for nanomaterials handled in an industrial setting as compared to a consumer application setting. There were evident differences in hazard ranking between nanostructured materials of similar elemental composition but different morphologies.