The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a press release on November 16, 2020, highlighting a newly published survey report from the European Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON). The survey assessed for five selected EU countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, and Poland) how citizens “perceive nanomaterials and their potential risks to health and environment.”
The main findings include a generally low of awareness of nanomaterials, albeit the level of awareness has increased compared to earlier studies. Furthermore, one major result of the study was that 87% of people responded they would like to have a way to know whether a product contains nanomaterials.
Based on the survey, the EUON announced three recommendations: Firstly, increasing Europeans’ awareness of the benefits and risks of nanomaterials, which could be achieved by e.g. developing a label. Secondly, it suggested to expand the survey to all 27 EU countries, and finally, in case of a labelling, the most appropriate type of labelling for products needs to be identified.
EUON finds that implementing these recommendations will help improve available information and communication on nanomaterials. This, in turn, will facilitate consumers’ understanding of how and where nanotechnology is used in everyday products as well as their risks and benefits.
The EUON was launched June 2017 (FPF reported) as an information platform with the key purpose to offer a free resource for EU citizens and all stakeholders to find easily accessible and relevant safety information on nanomaterials available on the EU market.
ECHA (November 2020). “Understanding public perception of nanomaterials and their safety in the EU.” (pdf)
ECHA (November 16, 2020). “What do EU citizens think about nanomaterials?”
Chemical Watch (November 17, 2020). “Echa survey highlights need for clear labelling of nanomaterials.”