Below you`ll find information on the intended users, the scientific background and the scope of the Stoffenmanager Nano. For further reading you can find a selection of scientific literature at the bottom of this page.
Currently, the assessment of potential health risks as a result of inhalation exposure to MNO is associated with significant uncertainties (“known unknowns”). There is still much uncertainty about whether, or when MNO are harmful to humans. Therefore, in September 2008, the Dutch House of Representatives consulted the Social Economic Council (SER) for an opinion on the safe handling of nano-particles in the workplace. This advice (SER advice 1, 2008) focuses on how to deal with the uncertainties associated with the risks of nanotechnology and especially on the synthetic, poorly biodegradable nano-particles in the professional environment.
In its advice to the House of Representatives, the SER concludes that given the unknown and uncertain risks associated with working with nano-particles, the precautionary principle should apply. The precautionary principle is based on preventing exposure where possible, and minimizing exposure in situations where prevention is not feasible.
The Stoffenmanager Nano can be used to apply such a precautionary principle at your workplace within your Risk Assessment and Evaluation and Action Plan. The Stoffenmanager Nano is a tool to prioritize health risks associated with working with nano-particles. The Stoffenmanager Nano is designed as a tool for SMEs to rank potential health risks occurring as a result of exposure to MNO at the workplace and to find effective risk management measures to manage these risks. It is a tool to put the precautionary principle into practice. (PDF document)
In order to prioritize the health risks, the Stoffenmanager Nano combines available hazard information of a substance with an inhalatory exposure estimate. When risks emerge from this, you can investigate what types of measures could be taken to control these risks. The justifications of the risk assessments can be saved as a MS Word-document. The Action Plan shows a summary of the applied management measures. The PIMEX-images and fact sheets can be used as knowledge resources.
The scientific basis on which the Stoffenmanager is developed is still innovative and constantly evolving. As a result of this, the estimates of potential health risks are associated with a high degree of uncertainty. This uncertainty is much larger than those in risk assessments involving traditional chemicals. However, the expectation is that in coming years, the knowledge about the opportunities and possible risks of MNO will increase substantially.
Because of this current, high degree of uncertainty, the developers of Stoffenmananger Nano have chosen for a qualitative assessment of the possible health risks. The intention is to be able to also quantify the potential health risks in the near future.
Based on physico-chemical properties and information on hazardous properties, the substance is classified in a specific risk band, as defined in this document (link to document findings).
The inhalatory exposure model of the Stoffenmanager is based on the source-receptor approach from Cherrie (Cherrie et al, 1999). The major determinants in the source-receptor model are task, local control measures, general ventilation, and product properties. These are scored on a logarithmic scale (Marquart et al, 2008). Schneider and co-workers (Schneider et al, 2010) extended the source-receptor model and its applicability domain for the use of nano-particles. The final model as used in the Stoffenmanager Nano is based on Cherrie’s model with Schneider’s additions and is described here.
To use the prioritization tool included in the Stoffenmanager Nano, product-specific information is needed. This information is probably listed in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) in combination with the product’s Technical Data Sheet. If you can not find the necessary information in the information sheets, we suggest you contact your supplier. Should you, despite a lack of information, want to perform a risk assessment, you can choose the “worst case” assumptions.
The Nano module of the Stoffenmanager is specifically designed to assess the nano-component of a product. Other components of a product should be assessed with the generic Stoffenmanager 4.5. The model only assesses exposure to substances via inhalation. A qualitative assessment of dermal exposure does not yet exist for nanoparticles.
The prioritization tool can be used for all types of synthesized (recalcitrant) nanoparticles / fibers, whether or not agglomerated or aggregated. Particles released as a result of combustion processes can not be assessed with this model.