Posted: November 9, 2009

Government invites consultations on strengthening nanomaterial regulations in Australia

(Nanowerk News) The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler, today announced the release of a public discussion paper inviting consultations on a Rudd Government proposal to strengthen regulation of industrial nanomaterials use in Australia.
The discussion paper proposes specific regulatory measures for the emerging field of nanotechnology in industrial chemicals.
The national regulator of industrial chemicals, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), developed the proposal in conjunction with its Nanotechnology Advisory Group which comprises representatives from industry, the community and research sectors.
The discussion paper addresses the six trigger areas for regulatory reform identified by the independent Monash Report: Review of the Possible Impacts of Nanotechnology on Australia's Regulatory Frameworks.
Major regulatory reforms explored by the discussion paper include: refinement of pre-market assessment categories for nanoforms of new chemicals, particularly where human health or environmental exposure can reasonably be anticipated; and a mandatory notification and assessment program for nanoforms of existing chemicals.
NICNAS will be working with comparable overseas regulatory authorities that are also actively considering similar measures.
The Rudd Government is committed to the responsible development of nanotechnology that captures its benefits while addressing any potential risks.
Results from this discussion paper will provide valuable input for regulatory policy on nanotechnology use in the industrial sector.
The discussion paper contains a questionnaire and survey to encourage written submissions and, depending on interest, public consultations in major cities will start from November 16th.
The discussion paper and form to register interest in public consultations can be found on the NICNAS website.
Source: Australian Department of Health and Ageing