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TACD publishes regulatory resolution on nanoparticles

By Guy Montague-Jones , 16-Jun-2009

TACD is urging the US and Europe to work together to address regulatory needs related to the use of nanomaterials in consumer products.

The resolution was published as Transatlantic Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), a forum of US and EU consumer organizations, hosted a conference in Brussels attracting representatives from regulators, industry and consumer groups to discuss nanotechnology regulation. To read a report on the cosmetics related news and views from the conference click here.

TACD is calling on regulatory bodies on both sides of the Atlantic to exchange data and establish sound approaches to assessing and preventing risks.

In its resolution, TACD expressed concern that in some cases the specific properties of nanoparticles could lead to risks which may not be posed by conventional size particles. To protect consumers from any potential risks, the organization presented the following recommendations.

  1. Agree on definitions: The lack of agreed definitions delays the establishment of effective regulation.
  2. Mandatory inventories: The EU and US should establish mandatory reporting schemes to keep track of products containing nanomaterials. An inventory of nano-products, past and present, should be made available to the public.
  3. Adapted testing methods: New testing methods and technologies must be developed to adequately assess the safety of products containing nanoparticles.
  4. Address research gaps: The EU and US should lead and fund research into the ‘extensive gaps’ in our understanding about health and environmental risks.
  5. Specially adapted regulations: Suitable regulatory frameworks should be built to address the special characteristics of nanomaterials. These must be precautionary in nature and be adapted to the applications. For example, products used in or on the body should require a full human health and environmental safety assessment. Some applications may also require post-market assessment data.
  6. Mandatory labeling: Consumer products containing nano-ingredients and with which consumers come in direct, close or regular contact, must be labeled.
  7. Marketing claims: Regulation is needed to ensure that claims made about the purported benefits of nano-products should be substantiated and independently verified.
  8. Public consultation: The views of the public on nanotechnologies should be consulted and should be meaningfully integrated into policy making and the direction of research.
  9. Ethical, social and economic consequences: Governments should establish commissions to study the economic and social consequences of the displacement of existing industries and commodities by industries based on manufactured nanoparticles.

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