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July 8, 2009

Norway Asks Businesses to Report Presence of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

On June 25, 2009, the Norwegian Board of Technology announced that the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) has established “a scheme for Norwegian businesses to report their use of nanomaterials in chemical products.”  According to a spokesperson for the Board, until now the Norwegian market has “lacked oversight of nanomaterials.”  Under the scheme, information about nanomaterials in chemical products will be incorporated as a separate topic in declarations to the Norwegian Product Register, which is administered by the SFT. The initiative will supplement Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) due to its “focus on how substances are marketed and used in real life.”

The process is not completely mandatory. According to the Board, “a legal commitment to declare a product arises only if a significant risk has been identified. . . . [f]ew nanomaterials will qualify under this criterion in the short term.”  The Board advocates a mandatory scheme as soon as it is feasible, and urges industry “to embrace the initiative right away.”