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April 24, 2009

European Parliament Urges the Labeling of Nanomaterials in Consumer Products

Lynn L. Bergeson

In an April 24, 2009, press release, the European Parliament (EP) calls for the provision of information to consumers on the use of nanomaterials in consumer products. According to the EP, all ingredients present in the form of nanomaterials in substances, mixtures, or articles should be clearly indicated in the product labeling. The press release also specifically calls for the European Commission (EC) to evaluate the need to review the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) concerning:

  • Simplified registration for nanomaterials manufactured or imported below one tonne;
  • Consideration of all nanomaterials as new substances;
  • A chemical safety report with exposure assessment for all registered nanomaterials; and
  • Notification requirements for all nanomaterials placed on the market on their own, in preparations, or in articles.

The EP also calls for the EC to evaluate the need to review worker protection legislation concerning:

  • The use of nanomaterials only in closed systems or in other ways that exclude exposure of workers as long as it is not possible to detect reliably and control exposure;
  • A clear assignment of liability to producers and employers arising from the use of nanomaterials; and
  • Whether all exposure routes (inhalation, dermal, and other) are addressed.