Switzerland updates precautionary matrix for synthetic nanomaterials

(Nanowerk News) The "precautionary matrix for synthetic nanomaterials" makes it possible for trade and industry to adopt a structured approach to recognising the possible risks in dealing with synthetic nanomaterials. The Federal Office of Public Health FOPH and Federal Office for the Environment FOEN launched the introductory phase in December 2008. The precautionary matrix was revised on the basis of users' experience at the beginning of 2010.
An important tool for trade and industry
The precautionary matrix provides a structured method to assess the "nanospecific precautionary need" of workers, consumers and the environment arising from the production and use of synthetic nanomaterials.
The matrix is a tool to help trade and industry meet their obligations of care and self-monitoring. It helps them to recognise applications which may entail risk and to take precautionary measures to protect human health and the environment. In the case of new developments, the matrix can contribute to the development of safer products. It enables users to conduct an initial analysis on the basis of currently available knowledge and indicates when further investigations are necessary.
The precautionary matrix is available to a broad circle of users at home and abroad. It will be further developed in close cooperation with trade, industry and science as well as with consumer and environmental organisations.
Source: Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland