ANEC/BEUC inventory of products claiming to contain nanoparticles available on the EU market

ANEC (European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation) and BEUC (Bureau européen des unions de consommateurs) released this month on their websites an inventory of consumer products claiming to contain nanoparticles available on the EU market. This inventory shows for now examples of 151 products ; ANEC and BEUC intend to update it regularly. Here is how the products distribute by categories :

appliances : 5 kitchen appliances and 2 laundry/clothing care products

automotive : 24 maintenance products and accessories

cross cutting : 11 coatings and 20 other products

electronics and computers : 4 products

– food and drink : 9 supplements and 1 other product

– products for children : 2 products

health and fitness : 7 clothing products, 32 personal care products and 3 sporting goods

home and garden : 14 cleaning products, 10 construction materials and 7 other products.

Integrating the nanoscale in formulations : the InForm project

A new EU-funded 3-year, EUR 1.7 million project entitled INFORM (“Integrating the nanoscale in formulations”) aims to facilitate communication and consequently scientific advances in the field of formulation science regarding the use of nanomaterials. It will focus its efforts on six priority areas:

– the formulation of nano-bio materials

– the handling and processing of nanopowders

– process intensification and soft nanomaterial formulations

– physical chemistry at the nanoscale

– the nanoscale and the formulation of smart and functional coatings, films and tapes

– toxicology and other health effects of nanomaterials.

The project is not industry-specific and has been designed to bring together the top formulation scientists across many disciplines ; so far, 17 companies or institutions are involved, and the University of Manchester (UK) is in charge of the coordination.

Ref : article 1, article 2

Nano review papers for environmental NGOs by the EEB

The European Environmental Bureau is producing a series of four papers “meant to serve as a capacity building tool empowering environmental NGOs to work actively in the field of sustainable governance and use of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.”  Already two are available online :

Challenges and opportunities to green nanotechnologies (April 2009 ; 13 p)

Nanomaterials – health and environmental concerns (July 2009 ; 17 p)

Nanoscience and nanotechnology in the EC research programs

– In February 2008, the European Commission released a recommendation on a code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies research. It is based on seven principles : meaning (activities should be broadly comprehensible); sustainability; precaution; inclusiveness (with regard to stakeholders); excellence; innovation; and accountability (with regard to social and other impacts).*

– The 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Community (which runs from 2007 till 2013) includes a theme entitled “Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials & new production technologies” (“NMP”).**

– Additionally, two European Community technology platforms*** are already set up in the field of nanotechnology :

–> European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC)

–> European Technology Platform-Nanomedicine (ETP-Nanomedicine)

* The European Commission website includes a dedicated nanotechnology page.

** More information about nanotechnology projects in former Framework Programs is available from this page

*** The full list of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) can be found here.

OSHA report : “Literature review – Workplace exposure to nanoparticles”

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) recently published a report entitled “Literature review – Workplace exposure to nanoparticles” which reviews the most recent publications on nanoparticles and focuses on the possible adverse health effects of workplace exposure. The document also presents the regulatory background and activities taken to manage this emerging risk.

TACD Resolution on Consumer Products Containing Nanoparticles

The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) is “a forum of US and EU consumer organisations which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union (…)“. At its annual meeting last week in Brussels, it adopted a resolution on consumer products containing nanoparticles. TACD actually “believes that steps urgently need to be taken in order to ensure that products containing manufactured nanoparticles are safe and beneficial to consumers and do not lead to new human health and environmental risks“. Therefore, it considers that “the EU and US should take prompt action to address the following regulatory needs” :

1 – Agree on definitions

2 – Identify products

3 – Develop testing methodologies adapted to nanoparticles

4 – Address research gaps

5 – Develop and adapt regulatory frameworks to address the special characteristics of nanomaterials

6 – Mandatory labeling

7 – Regulate marketing claims

8 – The public should be consulted about their views on nanotechnologies

9 – Governments should establish commissions to study the social and economic consequences of the displacement of existing industries and commodities by industries based in manufactured nanoparticles.

Nano & biocidal silver – Friends Of the Earth report

Friends of the Earth (FoE) released yesterday a report entitled   “Nano & biocidal silver – extreme germ killers present a growing threat to public health” (press release).

In the frame of this document, the NGO calls for “immediate moratorium on the commercial release of products that contain manufactured nanosilver until nanotechnology-specific regulation is introduced to protect the public, workers and the environment from their risks, and until the public is involved in decision-making“.

The report is rather dense with informations and documented with a lot of references. A very interesting part focuses on nanotechnology regulatory issues and discusses the European, Australian and US situations in this matter (pages 26-33 of the report).

International approaches to the regulatory governance of nanotechnology

The Regulatory Governance Initiative (RGI) at Carleton University in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) published in April a report entitled: “International Approaches to the Regulatory Governance of Nanotechnology“. According to the authors’ abstract :  “This report is an initial exploration into the question: ―How have Canada and other jurisdictions reacted to the recent emergence of nanotechnology-based products in the marketplace (and what is the current state of affairs)?” undertaken from the perspective of regulatory governance. The report is largely based on a literature review (up to March 2009) that has been corroborated with expert interviews. Our focus is on five jurisdictions (US, UK, EU, Australia and Canada) and we describe how the emergence of nanotechnology triggered activities in three domains: (a) public and stakeholder debate, (b) development of initial policy options, and (c) the management of regulatory development in a situation of scarce data. On the basis of these up-to-date descriptions, we have selected a set of six regulatory governance principles and discuss the extent to which best practices are starting to emerge.


NanoImpactNet is a multidisciplinary European network on the health and environmental impact of nanomaterials. Its ambition is to “create a scientific basis to ensure the safe and responsible development of engineered nanoparticles and nanotechnology-based materials and products” and to “support the definition of regulatory measures and implementation of legislation in Europe“. The 24 institutes behind NanoImpactNet members are European research groups active in the fields of nanosafety, nanorisk assessment and nanotoxicology.

News and newsletters related to NanoImpactNet are available here.

Nanotechnology Safety for Success Dialogue Workshop

The presentations of the 2nd Annual Nanotechnology Safety for Success Dialogue Workshop (Brussels, 2-3 October 2008) are now available online here. Topics covered in the different sessions included : Science and risk assessment ; Regulation ; International developments ; Risk governance, communication, and perception ; Communication with the customer ; …