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December 7, 2016

ECHA Announces Signed Agreement for EU Observatory for Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On December 7, 2016, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced the signing of a delegation agreement between ECHA and the European Commission (EC) on the European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EU-ON).  According to ECHA, the information sources for the EU-ON will include data generated by various pieces of EU legislation regulating the safe use of nanomaterials (e.g., the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, biocides, and cosmetics), as well as national inventories, research projects, and market studies.  ECHA states that in its first phase, the EU-ON “will only collect information that is already available and not generate any new data.”  ECHA will develop the EU-ON in three phases.  The first phase will explain what nanomaterials are and how they are used.  It will also address safety issues and contain links to research projects.  ECHA intends the first phase to go live in summer 2017.  Later phases include search functionalities and more detailed product information.  ECHA notes that the EC concluded that the EU-ON would be the best tool to increase transparency on nanomaterials on the EU market.  While the EC considered an EU-wide registry, the EC “considered that such a registry would be too costly for both industry and authorities.”