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Health and safety

On this page, we highlight the various fronts upon which the Graphene Flagship is investigating the effects of graphene and layered materials on health and safety.

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Graphene and layered materials have made an impact on many different fields, and new applications are emerging every day. So, as for all evolving technologies, it is crucial to consider their safety.

The Graphene Flagship has a devoted group to study the effects of these new materials on our health and the world around us: the Health and Environment Work Package. This group investigates whether graphene and layered materials pose any risks to our health and environment and, if so, how to mitigate them.

To this end, the group released a comprehensive review article reporting on the current knowledge of the safety of graphene and layered materials. This effort, led by Maurizio Prato, Alberto Bianco and Bengt Fadeel – Leader, Deputy Leader and Partner of the Health and Environment Work Package –  contains a detailed analysis of numerous biological interactions of graphene and layered materials. It can be accessed online here.

To learn more about our research into the effects of graphene and layered materials on the lungs, the skin, the natural environment and more, click one of the cards below.


Initial studies suggest that graphene is safe for long-term occupational exposure, but inhalation of graphene oxide should be avoided.


Graphene and layered materials made with non-irritant exfoliating agents do not irritate the skin, and Graphene Flagship research indicates that graphene does not cause inflammation.


Graphene is biodegradable by a human enzyme and research shows that graphene oxide biodegrades when ingested by zebrafish.

Environmental models

More research is needed to fully determine the effect of graphene and layered materials on the wider environment, but studies are underway.

Graphene for Healthcare magazine cover

Graphene for Healthcare

Learn about how graphene and layered materials could breathe life to new biomedical technologies in our Graphene for Healthcare special edition mini-magazine.


Click here to read it for free!