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Tag Archives: assessment

EPA Extends comment period

Wednesday’s Federal Register carried a notice from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extending the comment period for proposed methods of collecting information regarding the use of nanoscale materials in pesticides published in the Federal Register of June 17, 2011. The original deadline for submitting comments was July 18, 2011. The deadline for submission has been extended to august 17, 2011.

The 30 day extension was requested by four commenters – Croplife America, a trade group repsenting " the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States", the American Chemical Council, the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association, a trade group "representing the interests of generic pesticide registrants, with a membership that includes manufacturers, formulators, and distributors of pesticide products", and theInternational Center for Technology Assessment, "a non-profit, bi-partisan organization committed to providing the public with full assessments and analyses of technological impacts on society". The comments may beviewed on

Information on submitting comments is available from either the original notice or the notice published on Wednesday.…

University of California, San Francisco Publishes Nanotechnology Regulatory Policy Recommendations

The Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is part of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Services located in UCSF’s School of Medicine. PRHE just published its "Recommendations for Addressing Potential Health Risks from Nanomaterials in California” which was commissioned by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment  (OEHA).  The document is designed to provide the State with an overview of nanotechnology materials and their potential exposures and human health risks, and proposes a selection of policy options for addressing potential hazards and risks from nanotechnology.  We previously provided our comments on the May 2010 draft of this document here.  A year later, many of our same concerns still apply to the final document.

The new document makes a range of recommendations, which are set forth below:

Recommendations to address health risks from nanomaterials for OEHHA that can be achieved under the existing regulatory structure:

1. Develop a definition of nanomaterials that can be used to identify them.

2. Identify and define priority properties for risk characterization and collect information about them for each nanomaterial.

3. Develop characteristics by which to define, describe, and group nanomaterials according to conventional or unique properties.

4. Establish a publicly accessible clearinghouse and inventory of nanomaterial sources and products.

5. Identify and/or develop methods for monitoring nanomaterials in environmental media and through human biomonitoring.

6. Collect information on the fate and transport of nanomaterials, including through monitoring in environmental and biological media.…

“Regulation and Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials — Too Little, Too Late?”

Steffen Foss Hansen is a Ph.D. candidate at the Technical University of Denmark’s Department of Environmental Engineering.    Here is a link to his well-written Ph.D. thesis — "Regulation and Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials — Too Little, Too Late?" 

Dr. Hansen’s thesis investigates whether existing environmental, health, and safety regulations and risk assessment techniques are adequate for nanotechnology and provides "some recommendations on how to govern nanotechnologies."   While I don’t always agree with Dr. Hansen on nano-related EHS issues, there is no doubt that his work is detailed, thorough, and thought provoking.  Read it.  :)

As an aside, I also had the pleasure of contributing with Dr. Hansen and others on a nanogovernance book chapter this past year which might be of interest to Nanolawreport readers:

Considerations for Implementation of Manufactured Nanomaterial Policy and Governance, NANOMATERIALS RISKS AND BENEFITS, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security, (Igor Linkov and Jeffery Steevens eds., Springer 2008).



EPA Office of Inspector General to Evaluate Agency’s Nanotechnology Efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) "helps the Agency protect the environment in a more efficient and cost effective manner.  [It] consist[s] of auditors, program analysts, investigators, and others with extensive expertise" who are tasked with evaluating EPA’s ability to deliver on key Agency policies.  Risk Policy Report ran an article yesterday (October 14, 2008) indicating that EPA’s OIG intended to assess EPA’s nanotechnology efforts in FY 2009.  We tracked down the underlying document which is attached here.  Specifically, EPA OIG intends to conduct an "[a]ssessment of EPA’s Efforts to Monitor, Evaluate, and Act on Threats from the Production, Use and Disposal of Nanotechnology Products/Nanomaterials."  …