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The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced on December 17, 2014, that the Federal Council decided to continue the action plan for synthetic nanomaterials until 2019. See http://www.bag.admin.ch/nanotechnologie/12167/?lang=en The objectives of the action plan include:
- 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; and
- Better utilization of existing tools for the development and rollout of sustainable nanotechnology applications.
On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule signaling renewed interest in asserting Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) jurisdiction over finished goods. The final rule adds nine benzidine-based chemical substances to the existing significant new use rule (SNUR) on these substances, and, with respect to both the newly added and previously-listed substances, makes inapplicable the exemption relating to persons that import or process the substances as part of an article.
Canada announced on January 9, 2015, that the New Substances Program has published six new risk assessment summaries for chemicals and polymers, including a summary for multi-wall carbon nanotubes. See http://www.ec.gc.ca/subsnouvelles-newsubs/default.asp?lang=En&n=4BCC7425-1 Environment Canada and Health Canada conduct risk assessments on new substances. These assessments include consideration of information on physical and chemical properties, hazards, uses, and exposure to determine whether a substance is or may become harmful to human health or environment as set out in Section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), and, if harm is suspected, to introduce any appropriate or required control measures.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on June 25, 2014, and on August 28, 2014, final risk assessments for targeted uses of four Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan chemicals. The June Assessment consists of certain uses of trichloroethylene (TCE), and the assessments released in August are for uses of methylene chloride or dichloromethane (DCM), antimony trioxide (ATO), and 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB). The much anticipated release of these assessments marks a real milestone for the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), and the EPA is to be commended for its significant efforts in completing these assessments relatively quickly.
“On November 24, 2014, the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) considered draft legislation concerning novel foods. See http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20141125IPR80424/html/Novel-foods-MEPs-call-for-moratorium-on-nano-foods-and-labelling-of-cloned-meat. The Committee amended the draft legislation, proposing a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in food based on the precautionary principle. The Committee approved the amended draft legislation by a vote of 57-4, with two abstentions. EP Member James Nicholson (ECR, UK), who is steering the legislation through the EP, stated that he was not completely satisfied with the vote. ”
"On September 16, 2014, EPA released its Final 2012 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Final 2012 Plan) and the Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Preliminary 2014 Plan) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). These are important plans as they telegraph EPA’s plans for developing effluent guidelines for targeted industries. This article discusses EPA’s current plans."
On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). For 13 NPs and NPEs, EPA would designate any use as a "significant new use," and for two additional NPs, EPA would designate that any use other than use as an intermediate or use as an epoxy cure catalyst would constitute a “significant new use.” Persons subject to the SNURs would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture (including import) or process any of these 15 chemical substances for a significant new use. The full ABA PCRRTK Newsletter is available online .
The European Parliament (EP) Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI) has posted a study entitled ENVI Relevant Legislative Areas of the EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations (TTIP). See http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_STU(2014)536293. The study analyzes the main differences between European Union (EU) and U.S. legislation in eight areas: human medicines and medical devices; cosmetics; food and nutrition; sanitary and phyto-sanitary; nanomaterials; cloning; raw materials and energy; and motor vehicles.
On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). These substances are recognized as persistent and toxic in the environment. This article discusses this important move.
Chemicals play a central role in our personal and professional lives. As consumers, we focus keenly on the chemicals in the products we use and with which we come into contact. Globalization and the emergence worldwide of sophisticated chemical management programs invite complex legal, commercial, and scientific challenges. These challenges extend far beyond compliance questions that, by comparison, seem now nostalgically straightforward. Understanding these programs and their evolution can only help inform our judgment as lawyers, consultants, and educated consumers.