As a follow-up to and outgrowth of the June 2005 OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides, and Biotechnology, the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) was established in September 2006, with the mission of helping "member countries efficently address the safety challenges of nanomaterial".
Presented at the WPMN’s March 2011 meeting, "Current Developments/Activities on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials" ". . .is intended to provide delegations and other stakeholders with a "snapshot" of information on activities related to manufactured nanomaterials, as well as other activities . . . at the national and international level".
The "snapshot" consists of two sections; section I, "Recent and Planned National Activities in Chemical Regulatory Area on Health and Environmental Safety Aspects of Manufactured Nanomaterials" and section II, "Current Activities in Other Organisations Related to Nanotechnologies/Nanomaterials". Section I is the larger of the two sections, focusing on the written reports that members of the OECD submitted to the WPMN. From the length and depth of these reports, it is easy to gauge which nations are actively involved in nanomaterials research, development and can be judged to have a fairly well developed nanoindustrial segment to their national economies. Australia, for example, submitted a five and a half page report discussing what the government and regulatory agencies have done and plan to do in the future to insure that facilities manufacturing nanomaterials reduce the levels of worker exposure, possible impact on the environment, etc, while Belgium’s report, in contrast, consisted of four paragraphs.
Section II is far shorter, totaling four pages, focused on the activities of the International Organisation for Standardisation Technical Committee-Nanotechnologies (ISO/TC 229), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO).
The value of the "snapshot" is that it provides stakeholders, both in the respective nations and internationally, with useful information regarding various nations support of their nanoindustries and how current and future regulation affecting workers, the environment and the general public’s exposure to nanomaterials might impact on established and emerging nanoindustries.