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EU consumer bodies launch nano product inventory

Two consumer organisations - the European consumer organisation (BEUC) and the consumers' voice on standardisation (ANEC) - have jointly launched a first stab at an inventory to tell consumers which products on the EU market contain nanomaterials.

The inventory covers categories including computers, flooring, household appliances, garden product and items for children and healthcare. The organisation say they plan to regularly update the inventory, which is available free of charge on their websites.

Launching the inventory, BEUC and ANEC make a series of demands for the regulation of nanotechnology:

  • Clear definitions of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies to guarantee legal certainties and allow the development of regulatory requirements;
  • The application of the precautionary principle in the field of nanotechnologies;
  • The assessment of the safety of nanomaterials by independent scientific bodies before they can be used in consumer products with which consumers come in direct, close or frequent contact (including cosmetics, food and clothing) or in products that could potentially harm the environment;
  • Adequate safety and risk assessment methodologies taking account of all characteristics of nanomaterials;
  • The adaptation of existing European legislation relevant to nanomaterials or the development of new legislation in order to safeguard consumer health and safety, and the environment;
  • The establishment or adaptation of legal requirementsrelated to health and safety (e.g. limit values for certain nanomaterials in products); 
  • The establishment of a public inventory of products that contain nanomaterials to ensure transparency about the use of nanomaterials;
  • The labelling of consumer products containing nanomaterials in particular products with which consumers come in direct, close or frequent contact such as cosmetics, food products and clothing;
  • Effective participatory processes in order to allow citizens to fully engage in technological developments which will have an impact on their everyday lives.

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