In an article published on March 27, 2017 the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) informs that its researchers have published a review of the legislation on nanomaterials in the EU. The review was conducted by Hubert Rauscher and colleagues and published in the peer-reviewed journal Chemie Ingenieur Technik on February 1, 2017.
The study summarizes how nanomaterials are covered by the EU regulatory framework, listing the different EU regulations that include specific provisions for nanomaterials. Some regulations provide a definition of nanomaterials (e.g. REACH, biocidal products regulation, cosmetic products regulation), while others focus on information requirements and safety assessment (e.g. plastic food contact materials (FCM) regulation, active and intelligent FCM regulation).
In 2011 the EC published a recommendation on the definition of nanomaterials. However, the implementation of a harmonized definition across the different sectors remains challenging. The EC’s definition of nanomaterials is under review and planned to be updated soon (FPF reported). To support the review process, JRC has prepared three reports covering scientific and technical issues regarding the nano-definition (FPF reported).
Rauscher and colleagues further report that best practices, guidelines, assessment practices, and methods for safety testing of nanomaterials are being developed, e.g. by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Still, there is a need for more research addressing specific regulatory questions, such as the implementation of the nano-definition, the enforcement of product labeling when nanomaterials are present, and the development of methods for safety testing of nanomaterials, the researchers conclude.
JRC (March 27, 2017). “How are nanomaterials regulated in the EU?”
Rauscher, H. et al. (2017). “Regulatory aspects of nanomaterials in the EU.” Chemie Ingenieur Technik 89(3):224-231.