Mapping market, public, and regulatory concerns to scientific evidence in the risk assessment of nanomaterials

K. Ong, J.A. Shatkin, J. Ede
Vireo Advisors, LLC,

Keywords: public opinion, regulation, nanomaterial, scientific evidence, health and safety


Stakeholders such as the media, non-governmental organizations, and regulatory agencies have a significant influence on public opinion of nanomaterial safety through news reporting, engaging in legal or regulatory action, disseminating scientific studies, and publishing of guidance documents and recommendations. Various aspects of these reports, such as word choice, study design, manner and tone of which results are presented, and recommendations and conclusions, can have a profound impact on the way nanomaterial safety is reported in the media, subsequently affecting public perception on a topic. This presentation focuses on cases where nanomaterials have recently gained public attention. From nanosized hydroxyapatite needles in infant formula, to court action on unlabeled nanomaterials in food, to the proposed ban of titanium dioxide food additives in France, we examine why these types of stories pique public interest, how the public and regulatory agencies respond to such reports, and evaluate the extent to which they are based on sound science.