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May 30, 2018

OECD Tour de Table Reports on Developments on Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a May 17, 2018, document entitled Developments in Delegations on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials — Tour de Table.  The document compiles information provided by delegations for the February 2018 OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) meeting on current developments on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials.  It aims to summarize relevant information on activities related to manufactured nanomaterials, as well as other activities on nanotechnologies at the international level.  The reported developments include:

  • Canada is currently developing a risk assessment framework that will be used to guide environmental and human health risk assessment of prioritized nanomaterials in commerce. Expert consultations on the draft framework are planned for 2018;
  • As part of its evaluation of the Danish Nanoproduct Register, Denmark is checking how neighbor countries are following the use of nanomaterials on their national markets. The results of this study were expected to be publicly available in the beginning of 2018;
  • In 2018, the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS) will conduct studies on environmental toxicology guidance values for titanium dioxide, cerium oxide, and nano silver. The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) intended to begin in March 2018 the substance evaluation process for titanium dioxide listed on the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP);
  • In 2017, the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the German Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR) started a substance evaluation of zinc oxide, in particular the nanoforms of zinc oxide, as listed on CoRAP;
  • The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, in close collaboration with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), will organize a policy conference to establish a common European Union (EU) agenda on how to create a future-proof approach to nanomaterials, based on the recommendations of the ProSafe White Paper and related to ongoing or new initiatives in the field of nanosafety with an emphasis on the regulatory context;
  • Under Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed TSCA premanufacture notices for four quantum dots and a single-walled carbon nanotube. Based on potential risk findings to human health and the environment, EPA issued consent orders and/or significant new use rules (SNUR) for all of these materials.  EPA also reviewed low volume exemptions for five quantum dots and four nanodiamond substances.  EPA allowed the exemptions under conditions that limited human and environmental exposures to prevent unreasonable risks.  The deadline for reporting existing nanoscale materials in commerce is August 14, 2018;
  • In collaboration with the Thailand Industrial Standard Institute (TISI), Thailand proposes to initiate five additional industrial standardization manuals related to nanotechnology by 2021:
    • Guidance on voluntary labelling for consumer products containing manufactured nano-objects;
    • Standard guide for size measurement of nanoparticles using atomic force microscopy;
    • Preparation of material safety data sheets (MSDS) for nanomaterials;
    • Occupational risk management applied to engineered nanomaterials — Part 1: Principles and approaches; and
    • Occupational risk management applied to engineered nanomaterials — Part 2: Use of the control banding approach).