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The Congressional Research Service (CRS) prepared a June 28, 2016, report, Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer. The report provides an overview of federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology, U.S. competitiveness in the field, environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns, nanomanufacturing, and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. According to the report, while more than 60 nations established similar programs after the launch of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), "it appears that several have moved away from centralized, coordinated nanotechnology-focused programs (e.g., the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia), some in favor of market- or application-oriented topic areas (e.g., health care technologies)."
The global chemicals industry has been presented with significant, often unfamiliar, challenges by the concept and functioning of SIEFs under REACH. Through years of experience in SIEF participation on our clients’ behalf, Acta has identified the following questions to consider when participating in a SIEF.
In-house counsel unfamiliar with the tsunami-like changes in domestic chemical management headed our way soon may wish to read this article. If you think for a second that the extensive revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) expected to be enacted imminently do not impact your legal practice or your client’s business operations, think again. TSCA reform impacts virtually every business sector in the United States, and will continue to do so for years to come. Here are the reasons why you should care.
On May 3, 3016, Mexico's Ministry of Economy published a notice beginning a public consultation on two draft nanotechnology standards. ISO/TS 80004-5:2011 lists terms and definitions related to the interface between nanomaterials and biology. It is intended to facilitate communications between scientists, engineers, technologists, designers, manufacturers, regulators, non-governmental organizations (NGO), consumer organizations, members of the public, and others.
On May 31, 2016, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) began a public consultation on a harmonized classification and labeling (CLH) proposal submitted by France for titanium dioxide. The CLH report states: "Based on available evidence and information in the registration dossier (e.g. mechanism of carcinogenicity, characterization of the particles), the proposed scope for the Annex VI entry is: ‘Titanium dioxide in all phases and phase combinations; particles in all sizes/morphologies.'"
On March 14, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed much-anticipated amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. This column summarizes the proposed amendments and industry’s response to them.
The genesis of the proposal is President Obama’s Executive Order (EO) 13650, which was issued in the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion that occurred in April 2013 that claimed 15 lives in West, Texas. The EO requires various federal agencies to develop options for better chemical facility safety and security that identify “improvements to existing risk management practices through agency programs, private sector initiatives, government guidance, outreach, standards, and regulations.” The EPA’s RMP regulations fall squarely in the zone of interest for purposes of the EO. Required under Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, these regulations, codified at 40 C.F.R. Part 68, apply to stationary sources that hold specified regulated substances in excess of certain thresholds. These “facilities” are required to assess their potential release impacts, undertake steps to prevent releases, plan for emergency response to releases, and summarize this information in a risk management plan submitted to the EPA.
On April 29, 2016, Australia's National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) published the third consultation paper on its reform initiative. See https://www.nicnas.gov.au/about-nicnas/nicnas-reforms/consultation-paper-3 and https://www.nicnas.gov.au/about-nicnas/nicnas-reforms Under the reforms, the requirements to establish that a new chemical can be classified as being not hazardous to human health or the environment, and therefore falls in Hazard Band A, include consideration of several factors, including whether the chemical is a nanomaterial. The consultation paper states that the risk matrix applies to chemicals (and their nanoforms) that are not listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).
On May 11, 2016, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) will hold a webinar for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) that will focus on the experiences, successes, and challenges for SMEs working in nanotechnology and on issues of interest to the business community. See http://www.nano.gov/node/160 The National Science Foundation's Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, at Northeastern University's College of Engineering in Boston, will host the webinar.
Registration is now open for the June 6-7, 2016, U.S.-European Union (EU) "Bridging NanoEHS Research Efforts" joint workshop. See https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-wZatJVQ3b9LSx9rrJeeEZqFO-8DZVs-80txK-9DBmQ/viewform and http://us-eu.org/2016%20-us-eu-nanoehs-workshop/ The workshop will bring together the U.S.-EU Communities of Research (COR), which serve as a platform for U.S. and EU scientists to share information on nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (nanoEHS) research.
On April 18, 2016, the Silver Nanotechnology Working Group (SNWG) submitted comments on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) draft NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin: Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials. See https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CDC-2016-0001-0017 and https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CDC-2016-0001-0002 The draft Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) includes a review and assessment of the currently available scientific literature on the toxicological effects of exposure to silver nanoparticles in experimental animal and cellular systems, and on the occupational exposures to silver dust and fume and the associated health effects.