The literature on nano(eco)toxicology is growing rapidly and has become increasingly difficult to interpret. We have developed a systematic tool called NanoRiskCat that can support companies and regulators in their first-tier assessment and communication on what they know about the hazard and exposure potential of consumer products containing engineered nanomaterials. The final outcome of NanoRiskCat is communicated in the form of a short-title describing the intended use and five colored dots. The first three dots refer to the qualitative exposure potential for professional end-users, consumers and the environment, whereas the last two refers to the hazard potential for humans and the environment. Each dot can be assigned one of four different colors, i.e. red, yellow, green, and gray indicating high, medium, low, and unknown, respectively. In this paper, we first introduce the criteria used to evaluate the exposure potential and the human and environmental hazards of specific uses of the nanoproduct. We then apply NanoRiskCat to eight different nanoproducts. The human and environmental exposure potential was found to be high (i.e., red) for many of the products due to direct application on skin and subsequent environmental release. In the NanoRiskCat evaluation, many of the nanomaterials achieve a red human and environmental hazard profile as there is compelling in vivo evidence to associate them with irreversible effects, e.g., carcinogenicity, respiratory, and cardiovascular effects, etc., in laboratory animals. A significant strength of NanoRiskCat is that it can be used even in cases where lack of data is prominent.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 2014, Vol 16, Issue 1, p. 1-25