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November 2, 2017

UK Parliamentary Office Publishes Note on Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On October 5, 2017, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) published a POSTnote entitled “Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials.”  According to POST, key points include:

  • Nanomaterial uses and benefits are diverse and increasing, such as in cosmetics, textiles, electronics, and medicine;
  • Current regulatory frameworks applicable to nanomaterials within the UK are mainly set at the European Union (EU) level;
  • There are some indications of potential health and environmental risks, but conclusions are limited by insufficient long-term evidence and difficulties in translating results from the laboratory to the real world;
  • Post-Brexit, the UK will need to establish regulatory frameworks for nanomaterials; and
  • The wide range of forms and uses of nanomaterials present many regulatory challenges, such as ensuring consistency in testing and finding valid ways of grouping nanomaterials so that their risks may be assessed more efficiently.