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Tag Archives: Manufactured nanomaterials

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 …

OECD Issues Guide to Current Developments on the safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials

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, …

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