An effective risk communication strategy can help to build trust along the supply chain and reassure both professional users and consumers. Risk communication needs to be adapted to the target group. Established ways to communicate about risks to various groups in society are:
- To consumers: Labelling – Consumer products in principle need to be safe for use. Labelling provides additional guidance and in particularly informs consumers that have special needs such as medical reasons or lifestyle choices (e.g. “contains nuts”, “x g salt per portion”, “fully organic product”, etc.).
- To professional users: (M)SDS – (Material) Safety Data Sheets provide detailed hazard and protection information about substances that are sold to professional users. Some of these substances are extremely dangerous and thus restricted to trained professionals. To choose the correct protection measures, these professional users and the safety and health experts advising them will obtain with the SDS a condensate of the current knowledge related to hazards, exposure routes and strategies to protect the health of workers.
- To authorities: REACH CSA – Chemical Safety Assessment under the REACH regulation. Before bringing any substance in large quantities to the European Market, producers must conduct a CSA for their substance. This assessment must be documented in a REACH dossier and deposited with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
- To experts: Scientific Literature – Results of research about risks of nanomaterials are published in scientific journals and reports. The interpretation of these results has to be done with caution. It is part of the scientific process to build up knowledge by studying small aspects of a topic (“original research articles”) and to combine them later to a bigger picture (often “review articles and reports”). Our reading list provides some selected articles that represent the current state of the art.