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Organisational Risk Management of Nanomaterials Using SUNDS: The Contribution of CENARIOS®

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Managing Risk in Nanotechnology

Abstract

The CENARIOS®-Standard is the first certifiable risk management system (RMS) and monitoring system designed specifically for the needs of companies concerned with nanomaterials. The rapidly evolving field of nanotechnology is characterised by a high level of uncertainty in environmental health and safety research, economic and social impacts, as well as the risk perception of the technology. Companies dealing with nanotechnology can better address this uncertainty by embedding practices like risk monitoring, risk analysis, risk communication, and crisis management into their organisational culture. Monitoring developments in the fields of toxicology, occupational safety and health, as well as societal and perception risk constitute a fundamental part of the CENARIOS® RMS. As part of the project SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies), a questionnaire based on the CENARIOS® Certification Standard is being implemented as a stand-alone module and is linked to the SUN Decision Support System (SUNDS). As risk management in SUNDS Tier 2 is quantitatively linked to risk assessment results, organisational risk management—an essential component in addressing complex and uncertain risks that cannot be evaluated quantitatively—is assessed using a separate web-based questionnaire. The module covers a representative selection of the specific requirements stipulated in the certification standard and thereby enables interested enterprises to assess their level of fulfilment (in terms of the exigencies of the certification standard) in an independent and inexpensive manner. The stand-alone module provides a simple and low-threshold means to evaluate the status of a company’s organisational risk management for nanomaterials. Existing gaps that need to be addressed in order to comply with the CENARIOS® certification standard are highlighted. If corresponding action is taken, the CENARIOS® stand-alone module may thus contribute to enhancing the safety of facilities and firms producing, processing, or handling nanomaterials.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    c.f. European Commission (2012b) and EPA (2015).

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Correspondence to Tobias Widler .

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Widler, T. et al. (2016). Organisational Risk Management of Nanomaterials Using SUNDS: The Contribution of CENARIOS® . In: Murphy, F., McAlea, E., Mullins, M. (eds) Managing Risk in Nanotechnology. Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32392-3_12

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