Embedding Ethical Impact Assessment in Nanosafety Decision Support

I. Malsch, P. Isigonis, M. Dusinska
Malsch TechnoValuation,

Keywords: nanomaterials, ethics, regulation, nanosafety, MCDA


Industrial companies manufacturing nano-enabled products and regulators responsible for risk governance of nanomaterials must balance a wide range of aspects, including traditional risk assessment and risk management as well as sustainability. Decision support systems (DSS) are in development that can present all available data in one dashboard. In an earlier project, we developed a modular Sustainable Nanotechnology DSS (SUNDS), addressing industrial and regulatory stakeholder needs (Malsch et al, 2015a, 2015b, 2017, 2018). Ethics and national differences in regulatory systems are not included in the resulting beta-version of SUNDS. In the new H2020 project RiskGONE ‘Science-based Risk Governance of Nanotechnology’, we will develop draft guidelines for an ethical impact assessment, based on the current guidance given by the CEN Workshop Agreement part 2 CWA 17145-2:2017 (E) . In addition, EU and member states level regulations will be mapped, to identify which thresholds should be considered in evaluating estimated risks and benefits. Based on the identified ethical issues and relevant regulations, thresholds identified for acceptability of risks will be applied in selected nanotechnology sectors, to test the guidelines we developed. We will present our plans and explain how it relates to other relevant initiatives.