EC finally agrees to hold meeting to reveal nano options

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

EC finally agrees to hold meeting to reveal nano options

Related tags: European union, Ultraviolet, Titanium dioxide

The European Commission has finally agreed to hold a meeting that will allow member states and other interested parties to see and discuss options for regulating nanomaterials.

Officials have confirmed that the meeting will be held over the summer where they plan to reveal nanomaterial regulations drawn up by its different departments.

The news has been a long time coming for the industry as the Committee had initially promised to present final proposals for amending REACH’s annexes to take better account of nanomaterials back in October, and then again in time for a stakeholder meeting last week which was also missed.

After some member states began developing national nanomaterial registers, the EC announced it would look into improving transparency on nanomaterial use.

Up for consideration..

The options currently being considered include impact assessment, recommendations on best practice for member states wanting to establish national registers, an EU observatory drawing publicly available information from other sources and two types of registry.

The registry options require each manufacturer to register the nanomaterials they use on an annual basis as well as the use-based approach where substances, mixtures and articles intended to release nanomaterials have to be registered.

A consultation will begin in April while a proposal on the impact assessment should be ready by early 2015.

Cosmetics may be exempt though according to Tatiana Santos, senior policy officer for nanotechnology at the European Environmental Bureau; “We complained about the exemption of pigments and fillers because the arguments were completely meaningless​.”

Nanotechnology in Europe

Nanomaterials are already applied to numerous products today in order to equip them with additional properties.

The use of silver ions is widespread in consumer products such as cosmetics, food and textiles due to their antimicrobial properties.

Despite the benefits of nanomaterials (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used as UV filters in sunscreen, for example, and are said to have a high level of efficacy) there is continuing debate over whether they could pose health risks to consumers.

The EU required that from 2013, the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics must be declared.

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