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German EPA recommends Measures for 'Nanomaterial Specific Environmental Risks'

The German Environment Protection Agency (Umweltbundesamt) has recently released a background note entitled Nanomaterials in the environment –Current state of knowledge and regulations on chemical safety - Recommendations of the German Environment Agency.

While considering that 'the nanoscale form of a substance does not necessarily constitute a hazard or risk', the Agency recommends taking key measures to address 'nanomaterial specific environmental risks'. The present report recommends:
 
  • the implementation of a harmonized definition of nanomaterials,
  • the inclusion of nanomaterial specific provisions in chemical regulations (i.e. REACH, Biocidal Products Regulation, Plant Protection Products Regulation and Directives on human and veterinary medicinal products),
  • the adaptation of hazard and risk assessment guidelines to nanomaterials,
  • the adaptation of environmental risk assessment guidelines to nanomaterials,
  • the continued development of characterisation standards for nanomaterials in the environment,
  • the continued development of grouping strategies for nanomaterials,
  • the classificiation of nanoforms in hazard classes and categories, and,
  • the establishment of a register of products containing nanomaterial.

In this document, the German Environment Protection agency specifically urges the European Commission to achieve closure on the actions that have been in discussion in the last couple of years: the definition of a nanomaterial and the modification of REACH annexes to nanomaterials.

Follow this link to download the full report Nanomaterials in the environment –Current state of knowledge and regulations on chemical safety - Recommendations of the German Environment Agency.

 

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