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April 23, 2010

OEHHA Announces Draft Nanotechnology Policy Framework for California

Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 22, 2010, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that, on May 5, 2010, the University of California at San Francisco’s (UCSF) Program on Reproductive Health will hear comments from an expert panel and the public on a draft UCSF document entitled “A Nanotechnology Policy Framework: Policy Recommendations for Addressing Potential Health Risks from Nanomaterials in California.” The draft document includes a number of recommendations for OEHHA and other California policymakers about nanomaterials, including recommendations on assessing their risks. According to UCSF, following the meeting, it will prepare the document in final and present it to OEHHA “to better inform their risk assessment recommendations for decision makers and risk managers.” The draft document includes recommendations concerning characterizing nanomaterials for hazard identification and exposure potential; indentifying sources of nanomaterials; addressing exposure to nanomaterials; prioritizing and characterizing health effects; testing products for safety; and engaging and informing the public. The draft report recommends that, as a first step, “OEHHA should evaluate and ensure that nanomaterials are integrated into their programs and activities in parallel with conventional chemicals.” In addition, the draft report outlines recommendations intended to address nanomaterial concerns and identifies the OEHHA programs through which these recommendations can be implemented.