30 July 2010
Regulation on MNs is nearly absent, yet there is growing concern, as highlighted in the January 2009 SCENIHR opinion on the Risk assessment of products of nanotechnologies . Long-term risks of MNs to public health may be important, which is why priority is given to cancerogenesis of MNs for which the preliminary required step is their characterization. The partners included in the proposal were selected for their knowledge of the field, and of their skills, with due notice to the budgetary constraints.
Targets groups are:
(a) The general public. An overview of nanomaterial present in consumer products and available on the European market shows that MNs are used for a wide variety of applications (e.g. pharmaceuticals, food...) and technologies (e.g. ICT, energy, transport...). The most important product categories in Europe are: motor vehicles, electronics, computers, personal care, cosmetics and household. As for all newly developed substances or products, attention should be paid to potential health risks.
(b) The regulatory authorities and market surveillance bodies. Implicitly, according to REACH, the use of MNs is regulated by manufacturers (and importers) responsible for the safety of the chemicals or products they produce (or import), enabling the authorities to take action if products pose a health risk.
It is, however, questionable if new risks arising from the presence of MNs will be recognized through the current regulatory system. More knowledge is therefore needed to assess the extent to which the current legislations can identify potential new risks.
(c) The implicated industries which should apply the developed methodology before marketing their MNs directly or in consumer products.
(d) The policy-making bodies. Until there is an evidence base on which the nature of the risks posed by MNs can be determined, it is not possible to assess the extent to which the implementation of current legislation addresses all potential risks posed by MNs.Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 15:24