The Australian Office of Nanotechnology recently released a report prepared for the Australian government by the Centre for Regulatory Studies at Monash University — "A review of possible impacts of nanotechnology on Australia’s regulatory framework."
Among other things, the report identifies six possible gaps in existing Australian law and regulations which might be of concern in the context of nanotechnology:
1. Some nanoscale materials may not be considered the same chemical substances as their bulk counterparts;
2. Weight or volume-based regulatory triggers may not be appropriate for nanoscale materials;
3. There is insufficient knowledge concerning the potential adverse environmental, health, and safety affects of nanotechnology;
4. Current risk assessment protocols may be insufficient for nanoscale materials;
5. Current research and development exemptions in Australian law may need to be closed; and
6. To the extent the existing Australian regulatory framework incorporates external guidelines and standards, those may need to be adjusted to adequately cover nanotechnology.
Additionally, pages 25 through 27 of the report provide a handy chart of the existing Australian regulations which the authors believe may be applicable to nanotechnology.
Clearly, a lot of thought and work went into the report. It is well worth reading.