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Commission launches public consultation on nanomaterials risk assessment [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on whether current EU chemical risk assessment methodologies are appropriate for evaluating the risks associated with nanomaterials.

Stakeholders are invited to give their views on an opinion issued by the Scientifi...
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on whether current EU chemical risk assessment methodologies are appropriate for evaluating the risks associated with nanomaterials.

Stakeholders are invited to give their views on an opinion issued by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). The report concludes that while existing methodologies are likely to identify hazards to human health, there is no clear evidence to suggest that these techniques are appropriate for validating the environmental impact of nanomaterials.

The report provides proposals for general and specific modifications of risk assessment of human health and the environment. These should take into account evidence which shows that nanoparticles may move within the body of humans or animals across membranes e.g. the blood-brain barrier, leading to unforeseen health effects.

The report also describes a staged strategy for the risk assessment of nanomaterials, which involves four stages:

- to identify whether the manufacture, use and/or end of use disposal or recycling could result in exposure of humans or environmental species and ecosystems;
- to characterise the nature, level and duration of any exposure;
- to identify the hazardous properties of any forms of the nano material to which significant exposure is likely;
- to characterise the hazard and the final risk assessment.

The public consultation closes on 23 May.
Source: European Commission
Record Number: 27504 / Last updated on: 2007-04-16
Category: General Policy
Provider: EC