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Tag Archives: European Union

Women in Europe for a Common Future Issues Position Paper: Nano the Great Unknown

Women in Europe for a Common Future, (WECF) founded in the Netherlands in 1994, " is a network of 100 member organizations and individual members who share a common concern to promote a healthy environment for all, strengthen the role of women and promote a gender and rights based approach in environment and sustainable development policy and implementation." Recently, WECF issued a position paper, "Nano: The Great Unknown". WECF takes the position that "Neither the industry nor public authorities have shown adequate leadership and willingness in addressing" the possible toxic effects of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs) on humans and the environment.

After briefly surveying European Union (EU) and non-EU regulatory efforts and finding them all lacking, the WECF calls for applying the precautionary principle and the principle of "no data, no market" for all nanomaterials and products containing nanomaterials.

WECF demands that full information about possible risks of nanoparticles as well as access to information on which products contain nanomaterials should be provided to the public, including developing countries) without delay.

The position paper then presents seven additional demands or "actions" by WECF:

1- "WECF demands that manufactured nanomaterials are treated as totally new substances."

2- " WECF demands the application of "no data, no market" – and in the case of REACH, this is to be independent of tonnage. Registration of nanomaterials under the corresponding bulk chemical should by default be prohibited."

3- "Nanosubstances should be subject to a far reaching health assessment (health, environment)."

4- "WECF asks decision-makers …

Guide to Responsible Nano-Business

ObservatoryNANO recently published a "Guide to Responsible Nano-Business", a brief report written for an audience of "Medium sized companies involved in the development, processing, production, or trade of nanotechnology-enabled materials, components, or applications".

ObservatoryNANO was created and funded by the then extant European Community (EC), the predecessor of today’sEuropean Union (EU),  “to create a European Observatory on Nanotechnologies to present reliable, complete and responsible science-based and economic expert analysis, across different technology sectors, establish dialogue with decision makers and others regarding the benefits and opportunities, balanced against barriers and risks, and allow them to take action to ensure that scientific and technological developments are realized as socio-economic benefits.”

The Guide sets out and briefly discusses four "tools to identify and manage nanotechnology-related priorities":

Tool 1: Set priorities, focusing on the process of framing responsibility measures

Tool 2: Check and complement established internal guidelines and code of conduct

Tool 3: Focus actions, described in the guide as the "strategies and programmes [needed] to be put in place to assure that a guideline is of any practicle use".

Tool 4: Inform transparently, focusing on what to communicate (content), how to communicate to employees of the company, customers and/or the general public, and the choice of communication media, ranging from company websites to product labels.

The Guide has links to "Good Practice Examples", such as BASF‘s Code of Conduct and to sites where more information can be found.

While the Guide to Responsible Nano-Business is not on the same level as …

Joint US-EU Workshop: Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts

In the Federal Register for February 15, 2011, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office announced it would hold a workshop on March 10 & 11 2011

to provide an open forum and engage in an active scientific discussion about environmental health and safety questions for nanomaterials and nanotechnology-enabled products, to encourage joint US-EU programs of work that would leverage resources, and to establish communities of research practice, including identification of key points of contact/ interest groups/themes between key US and EU researchers for near-term and future collaborations.

The March 10, 2011 sessions, to be held at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Understanding Perspectives and Programs", will focus on an overview of EU and US EHS research plans and the different perspectives both bring to their research efforts. Part 2, "Data Needs for Regulatory Decision Making", focuses on

1 – Human health data

2- Environment data needed to make informed regarding regulations, particularly the regulation of nanoindustries.

The March 11, 2011 sessions will be held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The first part of this days sessions focuses on "Tackling the Challenges of Producing Reliable and Reproducible data for nanoparticles assessment and risk management", while the final session, "Getting it done together", will look at establishing mechanisms for EU and US regulatory agencies to work together in the future.

Pre-registration is required and can be done at . Registration closes at 4PM on March 9, …

European Parliament Members Vote for Ban on Nanomaterials, Including Nanosilver and Carbon Nanotubes

The Members of the European Union’s (“EU”) Environment Committee (“MEPs”) recently voted in favor of proposed amendments to the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, first passed in 2002, banning the use of nanosilver and long multi-walled carbon nanotubes in electrical and electronic products. The legislators also approved language requiring that any electrical or electronic materials containing nanomaterials should be labeled as such and that manufacturers who use nanomaterials would be required to provide the European Commission with safety data on any materials used. Commentators have noted that the MEPs’ definition of nanomaterials is unclear and the current interpretation could require labeling for every electronic product, such as every transistor in a computer chip. A vote on the proposal is expected in October.…

European “Framing Nano” Report

Things have been mostly quiet in the United States on nanotechnology regulatory developments lately.  There have been some items, but not much.  So, we look across to Europe to see what they are up to.  A new report adds more perspective to the nano-regulatory question.  The Swiss based Innovation Society recently released its report: "FramingNano Mapping Study on Regulation and Governance of Nanotechnology."  The Innovation Society is part of the European project on nano-regulation: Framing Nano.…

More from Europe and REACH

Last week we told you about the just-opened REACH pre-registrations here.  Now, the news from across the pond tells us that carbon and graphite are to be specifically included in the REACH submissions.…