March 11, 2008

NIOSH Seeks Comment on Strategic Plan for Nanotechnology Research

Last week the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requested comments on its Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance:  Filling the Knowledge Gaps (Strategic Plan).  NIOSH intends the Strategic Plan “to provide a tool for coordinating nanotechnology research across the Institute and to provide a guide for enhancing the development of new research efforts that will respond to the challenges of working with a new...
March 10, 2008

EPA Will Hold Meeting on Industry-Government Partnerships

On February 29, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a March 17-18, 2008, public meeting “to discuss opportunities for industry-government partnerships to foster greater public awareness of the environmental attributes of household and institutional consumer products and help make consumers aware of efforts on the part of consumer product manufacturers to improve the environmental performance of their products and production facilities.” According to EPA, the...
March 5, 2008

SCCP Releases Opinion on Safety of Nanomaterials in Cosmetic Products

The European Commission’s (EC) Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) released on March 3, 2008, a document entitled Opinion on Safety of Nanomaterials in Cosmetic Products (Opinion). In its Opinion, the SCCP divides nanoparticles into two groups: 1) soluble and/or biodegradable nanoparticles; and 2) insoluble particles. The SCCP states that, for the soluble and/or biodegradable group, “conventional risk assessment methodologies based on mass metrics may be adequate, whereas...
March 3, 2008

NIOSH Publishes “Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace”

On February 29, 2008, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced the availability of a brochure entitled “Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: An Introduction for Employers, Managers, and Safety and Health Professionals.” The brochure addresses the following questions: whether nanoparticles are hazardous to workers; how workers can be exposed; whether nanoparticles can be measured; and whether worker exposures can be controlled. The brochure states that...
February 27, 2008

PEN Brief Reviews Applicability of TRI to Nanomaterials

On February 26, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars released a brief entitled Application of the Toxics Release Inventory to Nanomaterials, which examines whether the Emergency Planning and Community-Right to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) could be applied to nanomaterials. According to the brief, although several organizations have analyzed whether specific environmental laws could be used to...
February 26, 2008

EC Asks for Scientific Opinion on Risk Assessment of Products of Nanotechnologies

The European Commission (EC) asked its Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) for a scientific opinion on the risk assessment of products of nanotechnologies. The request asks SCENIHR to identify and assess new information and update its opinions on the potential risks of products of nanotechnologies, “in particular, with respect to characterisation, eco-toxicology and toxicology as well as exposure assessments.” The EC’s request for an opinion...
February 21, 2008

NSET Releases Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related EHS Research

On February 14, 2008, the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Technology released a final document entitled Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research, which describes the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI) strategy for addressing priority research on the environment, health, and safety (EHS) aspects of nanomaterials. The NNI EHS Strategy assigns priority...
February 15, 2008

EPA Releases Draft Nanomaterial Research Strategy

On February 13, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of a draft report entitled Draft Nanomaterial Research Strategy (NRS), which is intended to guide EPA’s Office of Research and Development in nanomaterial research.  Versar, Inc., an EPA contractor for external peer review, will convene a panel of experts and organize and conduct an independent expert external peer meeting on April 11, 2008, to review EPA’s draft NRS. Comments on EPA’s draft...
February 14, 2008

European Commission Adopts Code of Conduct for Responsible Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies Research

On February 8, 2008, the European Commission (EC) announced the adoption of a code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies (N&N) research. The EC recommends that member states adopt codes of conduct to govern N&N research.  The EC code of conduct is based on seven general principles that address issues such as sustainability, precaution, inclusiveness, and accountability. The code of conduct also provides guidelines that implement these...