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Reach nanotechnology register is mooted by EU presidency

By Keith Nuthall
Posted 27 September 2010
A call for creating a specific nanomaterials register under the EU's Reach chemical control system has come from the European Union's current Belgian presidency.

"Nanomaterials are increasingly present in consumer products and everyday items,” noted Belgium environment minister Paul Magnette at a Brussels seminar on the EU’s nascent nanotechnology regulations.

He continued: “It is essential to reassure consumers that all products containing nanomaterial (or made using nanotechnology), that are on the market, have been tested by an independent body and do not constitute a health hazard.”

Magnette referred to the 2011 deadline to properly regulate nanotechnology given to the European Commission by the European Parliament.

At the seminar, he proposed five elements that should be included in such legislation. These included that a register of nanomaterials used within the EU is established, so regulators can trace the origin of any nanoparticles to their source if they cause health or environmental problems.

The other four were that:

* Manufacturers and retailers inform consumers of the presence of nanomaterials in their products;

* Regulations provide for risk evaluation and management of nanomaterials at an EU level;

* Member states also draft integrated national strategies for nanotechnology risk management, information dissemination and monitoring;

* Claims made on labels of products containing nanomaterials are controlled.
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