A manuscript published this month in ACS Nano outlines considerations of safety aspects during the various stages of the innovation process. The manuscript uses graphene as a case study, but it outlines how available information can be used to assess potential hazards, exposures, and risks of innovative technologies and materials. The approach includes research into details of both the production method and potential applications of a new technology to help understand potential human and environmental exposure. Research on the potential hazard of a new technology is included in the approach, and includes key information requirements and considerations that should be take into account such as factors that contribute to hazard. Hazard and exposure information is then used to assess overall risk.
The report also outlines approaches and actions that can be taken by different stakeholders (innovators, scientific experts, risk assessors and regulators) at different stages of innovation to promote safe production and use of innovative materials and technologies. This includes advice for safe innovation during “potential”, “indicator”, and “demonstrator” stages of innovation.