Please be aware that this is a machine translation from French to English. AVICENN is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate translations but welcomes suggestions for reformulation.

WatchNanos - Life cycle of nanomaterials and products containing them

Life cycle of nanomaterials and products containing them

more files

Take into account the entire life cycle of nanomaterials and products containing them

By Avicenn Team – Last Added June 2022

In order to do not repeat the mistakes of the past, it is necessary for industrialists, risk assessment and management bodies and researchers to consider the life cycle of nanomaterials as a whole: from their design to their destruction or recycling, including their use/consumption.

A comprehensive approach – Social Life Cycle Analysis (SLC) – is promoted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)1Guidelines for social life cycle analysis of products, UNEP, 2009. It can be applied to nanomaterials and must be carried out in a prospective manner, prior to commercialization - and not as a "firefighter" after the appearance of health or environmental problems. This is a broader “benefits-risks” analysis than that currently proposed by proponents of the traditional (and limited) risk approach. In particular, it considers the following questions: "what benefits/risks, for whom, where, when?" ".

Considering the entire life cycle, by AVICENN

For the time being, scientists indeed have very limited knowledge of the types of nanomaterials that are incorporated into products currently on the market, and a fortiori residues of degradation of nanomaterials released throughout the “life cycle” of these products; they are also unaware of many things about the mobility and the transformations undergone by the latter in the environment ou in the human body : many parameters come into play, such as the degree of acidity or salinity of the water, for example2On the influence of acidity on the physico-chemical parameters of nanomaterials, see for example:
- Fate of iron nanoparticles in the environment. Colloidal stability, chemical reactivity and impacts on plants, thesis of Edwige Demangeat, Geosciences Rennes UMR 6118, 2018
- Natural acids in soil could protect rice from toxic nanoparticles, Science News, April 2015

In May 2019, the Science for Environment Policy newsletter reports the advancement of a life cycle analysis method adapted to emerging technologies: The Lifecycle Screening of Emerging Technologies (LiSET). Will it be usable and used before marketing certain "nanos"? The question is to be investigated.

Elsewhere on the web

In French :

In English :

A remark, a question? This sheet produced by AVICENN is intended to be supplemented and updated. Please feel free to contribute.

The next nano appointments

“Nano and Health” dialogue committee (ANSES, Maisons-Alfort)
Dialogue Committee
  • 14th meeting of the “nano and health” dialogue committee
  • Organizer: ANSES
  • Website :
Nanomaterials, how to identify them more efficiently? (LNE, Paris)
  • Technical Day
  • Organizer: National Metrology and Testing Laboratory (LNE)
  • On the agenda: identification of nanomaterials, recent technological innovations in terms of particle size characterization, areas for progress to be considered 
  • Upcoming program
  • Website :…
NanoSafe conference 2023 (CEA, Grenoble)
  • 8th International Conference on Health Issues for a Responsible Approach to Nanomaterials
  • June 5-9, 2023
  • Organizer: Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA)
  • Website :…  

This listing was originally created in November 2014

Notes & references

Our watch, our information and our actions need you to last!