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Posted: Dec 21, 2011

National activities on life cycle assessment of nanomaterials

(Nanowerk News) This document (pdf) provides a snapshot of information on national activities on the life cycle assessment of nanotechnologies provided by OECD countries. As a "living document", it is expected to be updated as new information becomes available.
The compilation includes information from: Austria, Finland, Germany, Korea, Poland, the United Kingdom, United States, the European Commission, as well as from the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC).
Background
The OECD's Programme on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials[1] was established in 2006 to help member countries efficiently and effectively address the safety challenges of nanomaterials. OECD has a wealth of experience in developing methods for the safety testing and assessment of chemical products.
The Programme brings together more than 100 experts from governments and other stakeholders from: a) OECD Countries; b) non-member economies such as China, the Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, and Thailand; and c) observers and invited experts from UNITAR, FAO, WHO, ISO, BIAC, TUAC, and environmental NGOs.
Although OECD member countries appreciate the many potential benefits from the use of nanomaterials, they wished to engage, at an early stage, in addressing the possible safety implications at the same time as research on new applications are being undertaken.
The Programme of Work is being implemented through specific projects to further develop appropriate methods and strategies to help ensure human health and environmental safety:
  • OECD Database on Manufactured Nanomaterials to Inform and Analyse EHS Research Activities;
  • Safety Testing of a Representative Set of Manufactured Nanomaterials;
  • Manufactured Nanomaterials and Test Guidelines;
  • Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes;
  • Co-operation on Risk Assessment;
  • The role of Alternative Methods in Nanotoxicology;
  • Exposure Measurement and Exposure Mitigation; and
  • Environmentally Sustainable Use of Manufactured Nanomaterials
  • Each project is being managed by a steering group, which comprises members of the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN), with support from the Secretariat. Each steering group implements its respective "operational plans", each with their specific objectives and timelines. The outputs of each project are then evaluated and endorsed by the WPMN, and subsequently by the OECD Chemicals Committee.
    More information about the work of the OECD's Programme on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials, as well as OECD's publications regarding safety issues of nanomaterials, is available at www.oecd.org/env/nanosafety.
    Source: OECD
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