Germany's environment agency (UBA) has drawn up recommendations on safety measures for nanomaterials. It says the European Commission should adopt them to identify and assess risks to the environment.
A UBA report says that, with few exceptions, there are not specific provisions for nanomaterials in substance legislations. As a result: "specific environmental risks cannot be described and assessed adequately, and appropriate measures to minimise the risks cannot be taken."
The UBA's recommendations include:
- harmonised definitions of nanomaterials in regulations on the safety of chemicals;
- nano-specific requirements for REACH, as well as for regulations on biocidal products and plant protection products. Also for the directives on human and veterinary medicinal products;
- adapted guidelines and models for hazard and risk assessment. These to include the development of nanomaterial-specific test guidelines and guidance documents;
- standardised methods for characterisation and qualitative and quantitative analytics for nanomaterials in the environment;
- development of substance group and analogy concepts for nanomaterials, to reduce the test demands while ensuring appropriate assessment;
- using information relating to the relevant nanoform for classification in hazard classes and categories; and
- establishing a register of products containing nanomaterials in Europe.
The UBA says the European Commission "should quickly and constructively define nanomaterials for regulation, including nanomaterial specific requirements for REACH."