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August 20, 2014

Overview and Inquiry into European Nano Registries Featured in Natural Resources & Environment

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and Meglena Mihova, Managing Partner of EPPA SA, have published an article in the Summer 2014 issue of Natural Resources & Environment, the magazine of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), entitled: “Nanomaterials and Public Disclosure: Are European Nano Product Registries the Answer?” In the article, Ms. Bergeson and Ms. Mihova propose that: “Nano product registries in Europe are the newest twist to satiating the public’s relentless ‘right to know.’ Nominally intended to prevent hazards, facilitate monitoring, and promote consumer choice, nano product registries also risk stigmatizing nano products, diverting limited government and private resources, and potentially creating commercial barriers to a promising technology.”

Ms. Bergeson and Ms. Mihova focus on the efforts of European countries that are presently at varying stages of establishing product registries to keep track of nanomaterials and the products that contain them. These countries include France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. After outlining the stated purposes of these registries and explaining how they operate, the article explores whether they are achieving their stated goals or inadvertently inviting unintended consequences. The article concludes with analysis of the possibility of a single, European Union (EU)-wide nano products registry, and the position each Member State is likely to take, for or against.

Natural Resources & Environment is ABA SEER’s quarterly magazine of practical, informative articles for practitioners, available to members of the Section. A full copy of this article is publicly available on the B&C website.