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Posted: November 7, 2008
Regional Australian government issues nanotechnology report on risks
(Nanowerk News) The government of New South Wales has issued a "Final Report, Nanotechnology in New South Wales" to address a current Legislative Council inquiry into the potential risks of and issues with nanotechnology.
The committee that compiled the report reached the following conclusions and issued these recommendations:
Recommendation 1: That the New South Wales Government recommend that nano-versions of existing chemicals are
assessed as new chemicals, during the review of the national regulatory frameworks.
Recommendation 2: That the NSW Government ensure that all relevant State regulatory agencies be involved in
developing a coordinated and cohesive position on what amendments, if any, are required to the
current regulatory frameworks in order to best regulate nanomaterials over their life-cycle.
Recommendation 3: That WorkCover NSW work with those companies, or premises of which it is aware, that
manufacture or use engineered nanomaterials of 300 nanometres or less in size in one or more
dimensions, to promote workplace safety in the use of nanotechnology.
That WorkCover NSW advertise its intention to undertake this endeavour and call for companies
manufacturing or using engineered nanomaterials of 300 nanometres or less in size to contact it
to participate in this workplace safety endeavour.
Recommendation 4: That the New South Wales Government work in cooperation with federal agencies on the
development of a national mandatory labelling scheme for engineered nanomaterials used in the
workplace, and that in the absence of a national scheme, NSW should proceed with investigating
the development of its own mandatory labelling scheme.
Recommendation 5: That the NSW Food Authority develop an application to seek an amendment to the national
Food Standards Code to require that food labels identify the presence of nanoscale materials.
Recommendation 6: That the New South Wales Government recommend that ingredient labelling requirements for
sunscreens and cosmetics include the identification of nanoscale materials, during the review of
the national regulatory frameworks.
Recommendation 7: That the New South Wales Government work in cooperation with federal agencies on the
development of a national mandatory reporting scheme for companies who use, manufacture,
transport or dispose of nanomaterials, and that in the absence of a national scheme, NSW should
proceed with investigating the development of its own interim reporting scheme.
Recommendation 8: That the New South Wales Government actively seek, through the use of leverage funding, the
establishment of additional metrology infrastructure within the State to build on the current
metrology strength and to provide additional benefit to industry, research and development.
Recommendation 9: That the Office of Science and Medical Research, through investigation and consultation,
determine what are the nanotoxicology research needs of most importance to the industry and
research sectors in New South Wales.
Recommendation 10: That the New South Wales Government provide financial support to create enhanced
nanotoxicology assessment capacity relevant to research and industry sectors in the State.
Recommendation 11: That New South Wales Government agencies that provide funding grants for research and
development of nanomaterials or products containing nanomaterials with a view to their
commercialisation require that a component of that funding be used to assess the health, safety
and environmental risks of the material or product when those risks have not yet been tested or
Recommendation 12: That the NSW Department of State and Regional Development enter into detailed discussions
with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Nuclear
Science and Technology Organisation and New South Wales Government agencies to explore
the feasibility of and need for a specialised facility for assessing the toxicity of engineered
nanomaterials, and the case for and benefit of it being located within New South Wales.
Recommendation 13: That a user-friendly, accessible and continually updated directory of research and research
infrastructure capacity within New South Wales that is publicly available via an easily accessible
website be maintained by a relevant Government agency or department.
Recommendation 14: That the New South Wales Government develop, publish and endorse a comprehensive
statement on nanotechnology, referring, among other matters, to current issues relating to
nanotechnology, activity being undertaken at the State and national levels, and advice on where
further information is available.
Recommendation 15: That the NSW Government establish a NSW Nanotechnology Unit within an existing
department or agency to act as a coordination point for all other NSW agencies dealing with
issues relating to nanotechnology, provide a central point for whole of government information
on or enquires relating to nanotechnology, and proactively engage with industry in the promotion
Recommendation 16: That the New South Wales University-Government working group, with representation from the
vocational and technical education sector, examine the education, skill and knowledge
requirements to support nanotechnology.
Recommendation 17: That the Office of Science and Medical Research, in collaboration with the Department of
Education and Training, examine and develop a strategy to ensure greater access for regional
students to the Science EXPosed programme.
Recommendation 18: That the NSW Government, or the new NSW Nanotechnology Unit as recommended by the
Committee, create and maintain a website that provides information, or links to information, on