Risk assessment

There is only a marginal consideration of nano- and microplastics under current regulatory frameworks. The development of risk assessment strategies considering the specific properties of plastic particles is required. This is the rationale of our activities, by integrating the research results from the other groups within the competence cluster. For example, microplastic environmental concentrations are related to effects observed in cell assays or aquatic ecotoxicology assays. A specific challenge for developing risk assessment strategies in the field is the joint consideration of nano-and microplastic particles, as well as the associated chemicals; and the integration of relevant transformation processes. A profound basis for risk assessment is high quality of studies and data, to ensure the use of reliable data, also the development of quality criteria specifically for nano-and microplastics and associated chemicals is part of our research.

Contributing scientists

Dana Kühnel


[1] Jemec Kokalj, A., Heinlaan, M., Novak, S., Drobne, D., Kühnel, D. (2023) Defining quality criteria for nanoplastic hazard evaluation: The case of polystyrene nanoplastics and aquatic invertebrate Daphnia spp.. Nanomaterials 13 (3), art. 536 https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13030536

[2] Ramsperger, A.F.R.M., Bergamaschi, E., Panizzolo, M., Fenoglio, I., Barbero, F., Peters, R., Undas, A., Purker, S., Giese, B., Lalyer, C.R., Tamargo, A., Moreno-Arribas, M.V., Grossart, H.-P., Kühnel, D., Dietrich, J., Paulsen, F., Afanou, A.K., Zienolddiny-Narui, S., Eriksen Hammer, S., Kringlen Ervik, T., Graff, P., Brinchmann, B.C., Nordby, K.-C., Wallin, H., Nassi, M., Benetti, F., Zanella, M., Brehm, J., Kress, H., Löder, M.G.J., Laforsch, C. (2023) Nano- and microplastics: a comprehensive review on their exposure routes, translocation, and fate in humans. NanoImpact 29 , art. 100441 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.impact.2022.100441

[3] van Broekhuizen, P., Säämänen, A., Schuurbiers, D., Isigonis, P., Jensen, K.A., Kühnel, D., Le Blansch, K. (2022) Tyre wear nanoparticles as test for a nano risk governance framework. Front. Environ. Sci. 10 , art. 1045246, https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2022.1045246

[4] Jemec Kokalj, A., Hartmann, N.B., Drobne, D., Potthoff, A., Kühnel, D. (2021) Quality of nanoplastics and microplastics ecotoxicity studies: Refining quality criteria for nanomaterial studies. J. Hazard. Mater. 415 , art. 125751, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125751


PlasticsFatE - Plastics Fate and Effects in the human body (EU), 01.04.2021 - 31.03.2025

PlasticsFatE is part of the CUSP cluster fostering the cooperation between five large-scale EU research projects working towards better understanding of the health impacts of micro- and nanoplastics  (MNPs). The other projects are: AURORA, IMPTOX, Plasticheal, POLYRISK

Also check the regular newsletter.