Weight of Evidence approach for the relative hazard ranking of nanomaterials

Stefano Zuin, Christian Micheletti, Andrea Critto, Giulio Pojana, Helinor Johnston, Vicki Stone, Lang Tran, Antonio Marcomini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    In assessing hazard for human health posed by newly engineered nanomaterials (ENM), approaches such as Weight of Evidence (WOE) and expert judgment are required to develop conclusions about the hazard of ENM. This is because all factors affecting hazard are not currently well defined and are often subject to different interpretation. Here we report the application of a WOE procedure to assess the potential of ENM to cause harm for human health, by integrating and combining physicochemical properties of NM and toxicity data obtained within the EU-funded Particle Risk project. The procedure was applied to carbon black (CB), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), C60 fullerene and quantum dots (QD) ENM tested during the Particle Risk project. The results show that some of the investigated ENM present a relatively higher hazardousness level on the basis of the integration of their physicochemical properties and toxicological effects, and that their hazard may be ranked as follow: QD >> C60 > SWNT > CB. This case study shows the utility of WOE approach to obtain a hazard ranking of ENM.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-458
    Number of pages14
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


    • Hazard assessment
    • physicochemical properties
    • weight of evidence
    • hazard ranking


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