Posted: May 5, 2010

OECD publishes its 2009-2012 operational plans on its safety of nanomaterials program

(Nanowerk News) The OECD programme on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials aims to ensure that the approach to hazard, exposure and risk assessment is of a high, science-based, and internationally harmonised standard.
This programme promotes international co-operation on the human health and environmental safety of manufactured nanomaterials, and involves safety testing and risk assessment of manufactured nanomaterials. This document compiles the operational plans (2009-2012) for the implementation of each project of the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN).
At the 6th meeting of the WPMN (October 2009), the operational plans 2009-2012 for each project were proposed and discussed. This document compiles the operational plans, which include information on their respective objectives, expected outputs, and linkages with other OECD bodies and other activities. Below you will find an outline of the main objective of each project:
1. OECD Database on Manufactured Nanomaterials to Inform and Analyse EHS Research Activities [led by SG1/2] - this project developed a Database, which focuses on past, current and ongoing environmental and human safety (EHS) research on manufactured nanomaterials. The database allows to identify EHS research done, as well as highlighting those areas that still need to be addressed. In addition, it provides an opportunity for identifying scientists and research on similar fields, which could lead to collaboration and development of networks;
2. Safety Testing of Representative Set of Manufactured Nanomaterials [led by SG3] – the main output of this project is the Sponsorship Programme for Testing Manufactured Nanomaterials, which are or will soon enter into commerce. The first phase of the testing programme (2007-2010) will identify those physico-chemical properties relevant to EHS risk assessment. The second phase will address those cross-cutting issues or additional EHS testing needed on specific nanomaterials;
3. Manufactured Nanomaterials and Test Guidelines [led by SG4] – this project intends to develop the necessary guidance documents for the testing of manufactured nanomaterials. This work is done in coordination with the OECD Working Group on National Co-ordinators of Test Guidelines Programme (WNT); the main output of this work is to develop those guidance materials that will ensure that the methods used for testing manufactured nanomaterials (sponsorship programme) allow their rigorous safety evaluation;
4. Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes [led by SG5] – this project analyses the elements in current or proposed voluntary reporting schemes and regulatory programmes on manufactured nanomaterials. It provided considerations and recommendations, which should be considered in developing information gathering schemes. Through this project trends in commercial activity and legislative requirements will be identified;
5. Co-operation on Risk Assessment [led by SG6] – the overall objectives of this project are to evaluate risk assessment approaches for manufactured nanomaterials through information exchange and to identify opportunities to strengthen and enhance risk assessment capacity. A document identifying the critical issues when assessing manufactured nanomaterials, such as risk assessment strategies and methodologies, will be developed;
6. The Role of Alternative Test Methods in Nanotoxicology [led by SG7] – this project intends to harvest the experiences from general chemicals with the objective of exploring specific applications of alternative methods which can further the understanding of the properties of manufactured nanomaterials. An guidance document assessing the potential use of specific Integrated Testing Strategies is being developed under this project;
7. Co-operation on Exposure Measurement and Exposure Mitigation [led by SG8] – this project looks at exposure measurement and mitigation of manufactured nanomaterials from three standpoints: i) workplace, ii) consumer; and iii) environment. Specific projects on these three areas are being developed; in addition, case studies on specific nanomaterials (from the Sponsorship Programme) will be developed, to complement the set of information needed to assess and managed their risk; and
8. Environmentally Sustainable Use of Manufactured Nanomaterials [led by SG9] – the main focus of this project is to enhance the knowledge base about life cycle aspects of manufactured nanomaterials, as well as their potential positive and negative impacts on the safety of environment and health. It will focus on specific nano-enabled applications at their different stages of development. One of the first outputs will be a report on those applications, and their existing frameworks and tools for applying life-cycle considerations.
The document can be downloaded (pdf) from the OECD website.
Source: OECD