The main outcomes and key deliverables of the project are aligned with the abovementioned objectives, that is, technically feasible prevention and protection measures for mitigating and control the EHS risks posed by NMs during the nanocomposites production, use and disposal to support the quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the workplace controls.

As key result, NanoRISK provides stakeholders with scientific based tools and data to guarantee a safe working environment, promoting the implementation of REACH provisions, in particular, the chemical safety assessment process. It shall be noted a direct contribution of the project to decrease the exposure of human and environment to dangerous substances, and to increase the transparency on hazard and exposure related data, promoting the concepts of responsible care, sustainability and green economies.

The LIFE NanoRISK project is focused on the evaluation of the effectiveness of common risk management measures (RMMs) to prevent or minimize exposure to engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) during the specific workplace situations of the polymer nanocomposite industry, as well as to support standardization activities concerning the certification of the adequacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Engineering Controls (ECs) to protect workers from the risk posed by use of ENMs.

The achievement of these objectives will promote the protection of environment and health from risks posed by ENMs, providing regulators and the industry with new and reliable data to complete the chemical safety assessment as defined by REACH regulation, where information on the levels of the exposure and efficiency of RMMs is of prime importance to determine if the use of a substance, in this case ENMs, is safe.

The development of nanomaterials - defined as materials with basic structural units, grains, particles, fibres or other constituent components smaller than 100 nm in at least one dimension – is a particularly exciting area of science and industry. Nanotechnology promises to bring about new products that would have been impossible with macro-sized materials. Nanocomposites outperform standard fillers and reinforcements in raising heat resistance, dimensional stability, stiffness, flame retardancy and electrical conductivity. However, a lack of information exists about the risk posed by the nanoparticles to human health and the environment.

The LIFE nanoRISK project aims to minimise environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks from exposure to engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). It hopes to do this by improving understanding of the risks associated with the release of ENMs to the environment by the polymer nanocomposite industry and identifying the most appropriate prevention and protection measures. These are the main activities to be completed during this initiative.

Project Reference LIFE 12 ENV/ES/000178
Duration 01-OCT-2013 to 30-SEP -2016
Total budget  1,165,973.00 €
EU contribution 582,893.00 €
Project location Rioja,Madrid,Cataluña,Comunidad Valenciana