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An integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Risk Assessment approach for assessing the environmental sustainability of nanoproducts

Abstract : In the context of the recently finalized H2020 project, NanoReg 2 , a new framework for a more comprehensive assessment of the environmental and human implication for engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and related nano-enabled products has been developed. The developed framework is based on the integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Risk Assessment (RA) methodologies during each stage of the innovation process for ENM products. Following a standard stage model, the framework is structured into four distinct phases: in stage one (“business idea”), the core business idea is described, an initial qualitative scoping of possible potential impacts and risks is established and the main legislative requirements are considered; in stage two (“business concept”), a simplified screening LCA-RA of potential benefits and risks (for workers, consumers and the environment) is performed, allowing a first rough evaluation of the sustainability of the product, based on qualitative/quantitative data from literature; stage three commences as experimental testing starts (stages 3a and 3b-“Prototype ENM/Prototype industrial sector”), and entails the undertaking of an LCA and RA at the lab and industrial scales, providing a first quantitative evaluation of the product; in the fourth and final stage (“validation and market”), REACH, product-related regulations/requirements and labelling requirements are integrated into the assessment. At each stage, different tools (e.g. LICARA, NanoRiskCat, Nanosafer, Swiss precautionary matrix) are used to provide valuable insights into performance to support the company in the process of the evaluation of the risk and sustainability of their product. Thus, our framework serves to help identify and minimise risks at an early stage in the innovation cycle and ensure that safety and sustainability implications are considered from the onset. For emerging products this is of high relevance as it enables risk and product management options to be enacted prior to the nanoproducts entering the market. In this presentation, this stage-based, integrated RA-LCA framework will be presented in more detail and its applicability will be demonstrated through several case studies regarding ENM production and application. In addition to the LCA and RA activities, the feasibility for adding a socio-economic component to this framework will be discussed.
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Conference papers
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 6:11:09 PM
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Beatrice Salieri, Leire Barruetabena, Christian Micheletti, Blanca Suarez Merino, Nicklas Raun Jacobsen, et al.. An integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Risk Assessment approach for assessing the environmental sustainability of nanoproducts. 29. SETAC Europe annual meeting, May 2019, Helsinki, Finland. ⟨ineris-03237727⟩

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