Nanomaterials - opportunities and managing risks


​Nanomaterials and nanotechnology offer opportunities to improve products and processes. COWI can advise your company on the use and risks associated with nanomaterials.

Nanomaterials are creating concerns for risks in the work environment, for consumers and for the environment. This is mainly due to the small sizes of nanomaterials and thus greater reactivity.

We can assist your company with:

  • An overview of where nanomaterials are used in your production and/or products
  • Knowledge about the safe use of nanomaterials in production and products
  • Internal and external communication about your use of nanomaterials
  • Clarity about and compliance with legislation



Legislation on nanomaterials

EU legislation increasingly focuses on nanomaterials, including requirements for labelling and/or assessment of nanomaterials contained in cosmetics, biocides, medical equipment and food. European chemicals legislation is generally also applicable for nano­materials, including REACH, CLP and occupational health legislation.

Danish law requires Danish producers and importers to report consumer products containing nanomaterials to the Danish Nanoproduct register.

COWI keeps track of the nano-legislation and can assist your company on how to respond to these requirements.

Nanomaterials' impact on people and the environment

There is a huge difference in the potency of different nanomaterials and how humans and the environment are exposed to the materials, and thus the magnitude of the nanomaterial risks vary.

When it comes to the working environment, the special properties of nanomaterials may require special measures or actions to be made, in order to ensure that the workers are not exposed to risks.

COWI can map the use of nanomaterials in your business or your products and assess the risks in relation to exposure of humans and the environment. We can also offer advice on appropriate risk reduction measures.

Conventional risk management measures, such as process enclosure, ventilation, filtration and some types of protective equipment, have been shown to be effective in terms of reducing exposure to nanomaterials.


​Nano means one billionth. A nanometre (nm) is one millionth of a millimetre. For nanomaterials the focus is typically on the range 1-100 nm = nanoscale. A nano­material is often thought of as a material in which at least one dimension is in the nanoscale. Nanomaterials typically consist of particles and fibres whose diameter is in the nanoscale.

LAST UPDATED: 12.12.2016