Environmental hazard and risk assessment serve as the basis for regulatory decisions to protect the environment from unintentional adverse effects of chemical substances including nanomaterials. This process requires reliable and relevant environmental hazard data upon which classification and labelling can be based and Predicted No-Effect Concentration (PNEC) values can be estimated. In a regulatory context ecotoxicological data is often recommended to be generated according to accepted and validated test guidelines, preferably also following Good Laboratory Practice. However, engineered nanomaterials are known to behave very differently in ecotoxicity tests compared to the conventional soluble chemicals, for which most guidelines were developed. Therefore non-guideline tests, or tests following modified test guidelines, can provide valuable information and should not per se be considered less adequate for regulatory use. Here we propose a framework for reliability and relevance evaluation of ecotoxicity data for nanomaterials that take into account the challenges and characterisation requirements associated with testing of these substances. The nanoCRED evaluation criteria, and accompanying guidance, were developed to be used in combination with those developed through the ‘Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating Ecotoxicity Data (CRED)’ project. This approach can accommodate all types of nanomaterials, all types of aquatic ecotoxicity studies, and qualitative as well as quantitative data evaluation requirements. Furthermore, it is practically feasible to implement and directly applicable in European as well as international regulatory frameworks.
- Chemical risk assessment
- Data evalution
- Predicted no-effect concentration