EDF Health

REACHing for nano

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In a previous post, I argued that the European Union’s REACH Regulation for chemicals goes a long way to address the regulatory needs for nanomaterials – despite the fact that REACH never mentions nano and was not developed with nano in mind.  I also noted, however, that REACH will clearly need more than fine-tuning to ensure adequate nano oversight.  Apparently at least some in the European Parliament agree.  Read More »

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Is the Window Closing?

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

As one who has closely followed the emergence of nanotechnology, I am sure I was not alone several years ago in welcoming what appeared to be a refreshingly new attitude among a broad range of stakeholders toward the introduction of this new set of technologies and materials.  Calls from my organization to “get nanotech right the first time” were echoed widely.  Perhaps the most frequently used metaphor, though, was that a “window of opportunity” had opened to do things differently this time.  But I increasingly fear that the window is closing. Read More »

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Regulating nano-silver as a pesticide

John BalbusCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

In May 2008, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) submitted a petition to EPA requesting that it regulate nano-silver used in products as a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  The petition calls on EPA to take the following specific actions:

  1. Classify nano-silver as a pesticide.
  2. Determine that nano-silver is a new pesticide and require its registration as such.
  3. Analyze the potential risks of nano-silver to human health and the environment.
  4. Take enforcement actions against nano-silver-containing products being sold illegally without EPA approval under FIFRA. Read More »
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Nano reporting goes mandatory

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

It had to happen sooner or later. After several years spent by the UK and US governments conceptualizing, vetting, proposing, again vetting, developing, yet again vetting, and finally launching and reporting on their voluntary reporting programs for engineered nanoscale materials – only to have them largely spurned by the intended targets – other governments observing all this have decided that mandatory approaches are needed. Read More »

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Nano Confessions: EPA all but concedes mandatory reporting and testing are needed

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

It’s been nearly a year since EPA launched its voluntary Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) – and over three years since EPA was urged, by a diverse group of stakeholders, to do so only in conjunction with the development of mandatory reporting rules as a backstop and to limit the duration of the basic part of the program to at most six months.

EPA ignored that advice, and proceeded with an open-ended voluntary program and no development of backstop rules.  Now EPA has issued its first evaluation of the NMSP.  So what did EPA find? Read More »

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Clump Change: Challenging conventional wisdom about nanoparticle aggregation

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In some nanotechnology circles, it is almost a mantra that, once released to the environment, nanoparticles will inevitably aggregate or agglomerate into larger masses and thereby lose their nanoscale-related properties and, by implication at least, any associated risks.

But can we count on nanoparticles released to the environment to self-regulate their own risk so conveniently? Read More »

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