Moving towards a bio-based and circular economy implies a major focus on the responsible and sustainable utilization of bio-resources. The emergence of nanotechnology has opened multiple possibilities, not only in the existing industrial sectors, but also for completely novel applications of nanoscale bio-materials, the commercial exploitation of which has only begun during the last few years. Bio-based materials are often assumed not to be toxic. However, this pre-assumption is not necessarily true. Here, we provide a short overview on health and environmental aspects associated with bio-based nanomaterials, and on the relevant regulatory requirements. We also discuss testing strategies that may be used for screening purposes at pre-commercial stages. Although the tests presently used to reveal hazards are still evolving, regarding modifications required for nanomaterials, their application is needed before the upscaling or commercialization of bio-based nanomaterials, to ensure the market potential of the nanomaterials is not delayed by uncertainties about safety issues.
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