An ‘action plan for synthetic nanomaterials’ that was developed by numerous Swiss Federal Offices has been extended until 2019. Adopted by the country’s Federal Council in April 2008, it ‘illustrates the work required in Switzerland for the safe handling of nanomaterials’.
The plan is said to create a regulatory framework in two phases: the first, and earliest, phase, will involve the ‘strengthening of corporate responsibility through different tools’; the second subsequent phase will be the ‘development of legal framework conditions’. There are four objectives of the plan:
- ‘development of regulatory framework conditions for the responsible handling of synthetic nanomaterials;
- creation of scientific and methodical conditions aimed at identifying and preventing potential harmful effects of synthetic nanomaterials on health and the environment;
- promotion of the public dialogue about opportunities and risks of nanotechnology;
- better utilisation of existing tools for the development and rollout of sustainable nanotechnology applications’
According to the plan, ‘the increasing scientific, economic and societal significance of nanotechnology was the impulse for developing the plan’. It looks to stake ‘out new opportunities’ while at the same time ‘help assess risks extensively and promptly and, if necessary, implement measures to protect the environment and public health’.
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