A regulatory update on nanomaterials
EU Regulatory Bulletin contents
ECHA's new working group
Last month ECHA established an informal working group on nanomaterials (ECHA-NMWG) comprising experts from EU member states, the European Commission, ECHA and accredited stakeholders.
- The working group will discuss and give "informal advice" on scientific and technical issues relating to nanomaterials in the implementation of REACH and CLP legislation. It has launched a webpage on the place of nanomaterials within REACH and CLP, which contains links to webinars (click here)
- The working group will liaise with stakeholders to ensure exchange of information, in particular data on the intrinsic properties of nanoforms of substances that was obtained via the use of the latest methodologies.
- In addition, the ECHA-NMWG will provide a forum for exchanging information on work done by the Group Assessing Already Registered Nanomaterials (GAARN), a body set up in January 2012 by DG Environment and chaired by ECHA, which has been building consensus on best practices for assessing and managing the safety of nanomaterials under REACH. In that regard, it should be recalled that the Commission considers that REACH is adequate to regulate nanomaterials, and that it should not be necessary to adapt the rules for chemicals safety assessments to nanomaterials (more on this in our previous article).
ECHA's ongoing efforts
These initiatives form part of ECHA's ongoing efforts since 2011 to build internal and external capacity on nanomaterials, to promote information exchange and consensus on safety information on nanomaterials in the context of REACH registration processes, and to provide feedback to registrants that wish to register nanomaterials at the next registration deadline (2013).
Continued discussions related to a register of nanomaterials
On a related matter, the Green member of the European Parliament Carl Schlyter has spoken of his intention to challenge the Commission's "lack of transparency," in particular its failure to disclose a document detailing its grounds for opposing the French authorities' attempt to set up a register of nanomaterials. Mr Schlyter (along with the Danish, Belgian, German and Italian governments) supports the idea of a register of products containing nanomaterial as we do not yet fully appreciate the risks associated with nanotechnology.
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