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Posted: December 15, 2008

OECD nanotechnology update on current safety developments

(Nanowerk News) On December 10, the OECD Environmental Directorate released a compilation of responses given during the nanotechnology Tour de Table by delegations that attended the 4th Meeting of the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials held at OECD Headquarters in Paris, France on 11-13 June 2008. The 96-page document (pdf download, 628 KB) can be downloaded from the OECD website.
Background
The OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology (the Joint Meeting) held a Special Session (June 2005) on the Potential Implications of Manufactured Nanomaterials for Human Health and Environmental Safety. This was the first opportunity for OECD member countries, together with observers and invited experts, to begin to identify human health and environmental safety related aspects of manufactured nanomaterials. The scope of this session was intended to address the chemicals sector.
As a follow-up, the Joint Meeting decided to hold a Workshop on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials in December 2005, in Washington, D.C. The main objective was to determine the “state of the art” for the safety assessment of manufactured nanomaterials with a particular focus on identifying future needs for risk assessment within a regulatory context.
Based on the conclusions and recommendations of the Workshop [ENV/JM/MONO(2006)19] it was recognized as essential to ensure the efficient assessment of manufactured nanomaterials so as to avoid adverse effects from the use of these materials in the short, medium and longer term.
With this in mind, the OECD Council established the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) as a subsidiary body of the OECD Chemicals Committee in September 2006. This program concentrates on human health and environmental safety implications of manufactured nanomaterials (limited mainly to the chemicals sector), and aims to ensure that the approach to hazard, exposure and risk assessment is of a high, science-based, and internationally harmonized standard.
This program promotes international cooperation on the human health and environmental safety of manufactured nanomaterials, and involves the safety testing and risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials.
In each meeting of the WPMN, the delegations have an opportunity to provide their developments on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials, so called “Tour de Table”. An earlier version of this document was originally provided to the 4th meeting held 11-13 June 2008 in Paris, France.
The above-mentioned document compiles information provided by member countries and other delegations on current developments on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials (section I) in their countries or organizations. There are also written reports on current activities related to nanotechnologies/ nanomaterials in other International Organizations including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) (section II). In addition, Section III includes the report from the OECD Secretariat.
This document is published on the responsibility of the Chemicals Committee. This is intended to provide delegations and other stakeholders with a “snapshot” of information on activities related to manufactured nanomaterials, as well as other activities on nanotechnologies, at the national and international level.
Source: OECD