EFSA training courses on risk assessment

Training no. 2: Risk assessment nanoscience and nanotechnologies

Two-day training and two-hour webinar

Training topic

Guidance will be given for best risk assessment practices of nanoscience and nanotechnologies applied in the agrochemical, food and feed sectors. The particularities of nanotoxicology research will be presented focussing on (1) physico-chemical properties and characterization (agglomeration status, solubility, surface charge, and surface reactivity) including the nanomaterial as such and in the final food/feed product; (2) in vitro/in vivo testing approaches to characterize nano-related hazards; (3) the influence of chemical surface modifications.

In 2011, EFSA started risk management with a “Guidance on the risk assessment of the application of nanoscience and nanotechnologies in the food and feed chain”. Both this document and an update (issued recently in 2018 as a draft) will be the basis of this training course.

Exposure scenarios for the use of specifically engineered nanomaterials (ENM) will have considerable impact on hazard characterization. Thus, the selected dose levels for toxicity testing should be relevant for human exposure and reflect the inherent toxicity of the material. Specific indications for (1) potential toxicity such as a high level of reactivity, complex morphology, interactions with biomolecules, and complex transformation, (2) a potential for high exposure such as high production volume, high mobility in organisms, intended release, stability/persistence, bioaccumulation, and (3) certain properties that may indicate a loss of the “nano”-effect under use conditions such as increased dissolution, increased degradability and the presence of strongly bound aggregates will be introduced.

The training course will consist of four sessions, each half a day, and present the above objectives as a mixture of lectures, discussions and practical examples. In this way, the participants will learn step by step the key tools for proper risk assessment: i.) to gather the decisive properties of the nanomaterial; ii.) to describe the exposure scenario for a given case; iii.) to identify/specify the robust test data/test strategy; iv.) to extrapolate for human risk.

Organizational details

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