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Risk assessment of engineered nanoparticles


ENPRA (Engineered NanoParticle Risk Assessment) was a European Framework Programme (FP) 7 project to develop and implement a novel integrated approach for engineered nanoparticle (ENP) risk assessment, which took place from 2009 - 2012.

ENPRA aimed to support long term growth and sustainability of nanotechnologies by expanding the classic exposure-dose-response paradigm of risk assessment, to develop an effective approach for the assessment and management of potential health risks from exposure to engineered nanoparticles.

The 3 ½ year project, led by the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), worth €3.7 million, harnessed the knowledge and capabilities of 15 European and 6 US partners including three US Federal Agencies: EPA, NIOSH and NIH-NIEHS.

ENPRA sought to utilise the latest advances within in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches to nanotechnology environment, health & safety (EHS) research to realise its aims. The in vitro and in silico approaches developed within ENPRA will help to reduce the need for animal experimentation in nanotoxicology. Harnessing the latest advances in toxicology to nanotechnology EH&S issues, the fundamentally novel rationale of ENPRA went beyond traditional toxicity assessment of ENP and sought to:

  • identify the critical ENP physico-chemical characteristics responsible for the observed toxicity;
  • investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the observed association;
  • develop systems, verifiable with in vivo experiments, which could be used as potential high throughput alternative toxicity tests;
  • use a Structure-Activity method to facilitate such identification and use this to predict the hazard of new materials;
  • extrapolate the results from in vitro to in vivo and to other relevant occupational or consumer situations;
  • incorporate all possible data as weight-of-evidence for a risk assessment of ENP.
The final summary report for the ENPRA project is available to download here.

For further information, please visit the project website or contact us.

Did you know?

22 is the number of EU Framework Programme projects involving SAFENANO.