The article discusses, in the context of nanotechnology, whether current concepts of chemical risk assessment can be used to assess nanorisk. Nanorisk can be defined from the narrow (eco)toxicological perspective to the broader sense to include societal/cultural impacts or even to the fundamental philosophical level, i.e. questioning societies need for the technology. We outline here the limitations of chemical risk assessment and other recent proposed risk governance paradigms in relation to nanotechnology and nanomaterials, including its inability to include societal risks (ownership, privacy, security, nanodivide,1 convergence of nano-, bio-, etc.) and metaphysical risk (including the lay persons perspective on the risks of nanotechnology). Finally, we outline the fundamental principles and criteria that an alternative comprehensive framework should be based on.