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Small is Different: A Science Perspective on the Regulatory Challenges of the Nanoscale

Small is Different: A Science Perspective on the Regulatory Challenges of the Nanoscale

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: The Council of Canadian Academies on Dec 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Risk characterization is defned as, “the integration of hazard identifcation,

hazard characterization and exposure assessment into an estimation of the
adverse effects likely to occur in a given population, including attendant
uncertainties” (WHO, 2004). For a known risk to exist, there needs to be both
a known hazard and known exposure. Once a hazard has been identifed and
potential exposure has been characterized, then characterization of the risk
involves looking at the data behind each step and determining what the overall
risk will be. In general, there are two types of risk assessment or characterization
that can be done. A quantitative assessment is based on collection and

quantitative analysis of data suffcient to adequately characterize the risk

(DiNardi, 2003). A qualitative assessment is the estimation of the risk based
on integration of available information and professional judgment. In the

absence of defnitive data, methodologies for assessing the uncertainty

surrounding a hazard are developed and applied. Such measures generally
employ conservative assumptions of risk — the following section and Chapter
IV will address this issue in further detail.

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