On April 8, 2015 the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands published a report reviewing current knowledge about nanomaterials (NMs), including our ability to assess potential human health and environmental risks from exposure to NMs. RIVM concludes that the currently available models and techniques provide insufficient certainties in the assessment of the harmfulness of NMs to both humans and the environment. To evaluate the products that are currently being developed, risk assessment is performed using the limited data available. RIVM points out the necessity to invest in new approaches in which the safety of a product is intrinsic to the innovative process. According to RIVM, reliable data about the behavior of NMs as well as knowledge to predict their properties are of crucial importance for a risk assessment to be satisfactory in the long-term. Furthermore, special attention is required for the next generations of NMs (e.g., bioactive and self-assembling materials) because the development of knowledge about these materials is still in its infancy. Overall, it is important to find ways to deal with the difference in pace between NM innovations and our capacity (scientific and regulatory) to evaluate the uncertainties and risks and ways of dealing with these potential risks and uncertainties, the authors of the report state.

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RIVM (April 8, 2015). “Innovation required in risk assessment of nanoparticles.

RIVM (April 8, 2015). “Assessing health & environmental risks of nanoparticles. An overview.(pdf)

RIVM (April 8, 2015). “Assessing health & environmental risks of nanoparticles: Current state of affairs in policy, science and areas of application.