Life cycle assessment and risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials
Book chapter, 2015
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Considering the environmental concerns related to manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs), assessments of their environmental impacts are highly motivated. This chapter describes the current research in the life cycle assessment and risk assessment of MNMs. A number of life cycle assessment studies of MNMs and MNM products have been reviewed, showing that MNM products can have an environmental impact higher than, lower than, or similar to other products. A number of risk assessment studies of MNM have also been reviewed, showing varying results so far. In addition, challenges in assessing the environmental impacts of MNMs with these two environmental assessment methods are outlined. For life cycle assessment, one challenge identified is the assessment of MNM products at an early stage of technological development. Another is how to assess the environmental impacts of MNM emissions with characterization factors. For risk assessment, the limited understanding of the fate and exposure of MNMs is a major obstacle. Recommendations on how these challenges can be tackled are provided.