Quality of physicochemical data on nanomaterials: an assessment of data completeness and variability†
Grouping and read-across has emerged as a reliable approach to generate safety-related data on nanomaterials (NMs). However, its successful implementation relies on the availability of detailed characterisation of NM physicochemical properties, which allows the definition of groups based on read-across similarity. To this end, this study assessed the availability and completeness of existing (meta)data on 11 experimentally determined physicochemical properties and 18 NMs. Data on representative NMs were mainly extracted from existing datasets stored in the eNanoMapper database, now available on the European Observatory on Nanomaterials website, while data on case-study NMs were provided by their industrial manufacturers. The extent of available (meta)data was assessed and data gaps were identified, thereby determining future testing needs. Data completeness was assessed by using the information checklists included in the templates for data logging developed by the EU-funded projects NANoREG and GRACIOUS. A completeness score (CS) between 0 and 1 was calculated for each (meta)data unit, template section, property, technique and NM. The results show a heterogeneous distribution of available (meta)data across materials and properties, with none of the selected NMs fully characterised. The average CS calculated for representative NMs (0.43) was considerably lower than for case-study NMs (0.68). The low CS was largely caused by missing information on sample preparation and standard operating procedures, and was attributed to a lack of harmonised data reporting and entry procedure. This study therefore suggests that a persistent use of well-defined and harmonised reporting schemes for experimental results is a useful tool to increase (meta)data completeness and ensure their integration and reuse.