There is an urgent need for adaptive, transparent, easy comprehensible and communicational and yet robust scientific methods, approaches and frameworks to evaluate the potential of exposure, hazard and risk related to the production and application of nanomaterials. A number of alternatives or supplements to traditional risk assessment have be explored and proposed in recent years. Examples of these include the ”Control Banding Nanotool” developed to assess and control the risks of nanomaterials and the more holistic “Swiss precautionary matrix”. In this paper we review these and other tools and discuss various elements of the tools (input data requirements, risk evaluation and risk handling) as well as pros and cons. We find that most of the tools provide a transparent and comprehensible approach and a few include risk management and communication going well beyond what is normally considered in traditional risk assessment. Most of the concepts available today however, is that their input data requirements are fairly high and some of the scientific information needed in order to apply them is inconclusive at the moment or non-existing. Some of the concepts are furthermore based on purely theoretical considerations and time-consuming to apply in reality. We provide a set of recommendations for what regulators and risk assessors need to consider before selecting and applying one or the other tool in a given situation and call for further application and development of these tools in the support regulatory decision-making.
Risk and Society Decisions & Responsibilities: Sra-europe 21 St Annual Conference, 2013, p. 36-36