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Posted: Oct 16, 2010

Australia introduces notification and assessment process for new industrial nanomaterials

(Nanowerk News) The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) is introducing new administrative processes for the notification and assessment of industrial nanomaterials that are considered to be New Chemicals under Part 3 (Notification and Assessment of Industrial Chemicals) of the Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Act 1989 (the Act).
These new administrative arrangements (pdf download) will be effective from 1 January 2011. They will apply to any new chemical that falls under the following working definition of 'industrial nanomaterial':
...industrial materials intentionally produced, manufactured or engineered to have unique properties or specific composition at the nanoscale, that is a size range typically between 1 nm and 100 nm, and is either a nano-object (i.e. that is confined in one, two, or three dimensions at the nanoscale) or is nanostructured (i.e. having an internal or surface structure at the nanoscale)"
[Notes to the working definition:
  • intentionally produced, manufactured or engineered materials are distinct from accidentally produced materials
  • 'unique properties' refers to chemical and/or physical properties that are different because of its nanoscale features as compared to the same material without nanoscale features, and result in unique phenomena (e.g. increased strength, chemical reactivity or conductivity) that enable novel applications.
  • aggregates and agglomerates are considered to be nanostructured substances
  • where size distribution shows 10% or more of a substance (based on number of particles) is at the nanoscale, NICNAS will consider this substance to be a nanomaterial for risk assessment purposes.]
  • Any substances that meet the working definition of 'industrial nanomaterial' currently introduced under exemption categories will require a NICNAS permit or certificate if introduction is to continue after 01 January 2011. Introducers should contact NICNAS prior to this date to determine the most appropriate notification category for their nanomaterial(s).
    Source: Australian Government - Department of Health and Ageing (NICNAS)
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