IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Development of a tool for the assessment or adaptive evaluation of the human health risks posed by synthetic nanoparticles


The nanotechnology market continues to grow, though worldwide there are few regulations in force to control their production. At the same time, their adverse effects on human health and the environment can already be felt.

Assessment of the risks to human health associated with synthetic nanoparticles faces three major challenges: 1) neither the methodological approaches employed nor the nanoparticles tested have been standardized; 2) there is much uncertainty surrounding the risk factors posed by these particles, and 3) there is an urgent need to develop risk control strategies for the particles.

Although several approaches for assessing the risks have been proposed, to date there is no tool available to support decision making that is both flexible (response speed and adaptability to various particles and processes) and sufficiently dynamic to help control the risks associated with synthetic nanoparticles. The adaptive tool we propose to develop will meet these criteria by determining the relationships that exist among the risk factors to be considered, by facilitating the retrieval and sharing of knowledge on risks, and by taking into account the various associated uncertainties.

The Ne3LS network (research network on the ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social aspects of nanotechnology development) accepted the present project following their first call for proposals.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2011-0007
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2013
  • Sylvie Nadeau (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Claude Viau (Université de Montréal)
  • Michel Camus (Santé Canada)
  • Stéphane Hallé (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Barthélemy Ateme-Nguema (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue)